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Offshore accounts used by wealthy ex-spouses to hide assets

When couples in Missouri divorce, they often seek to move forward with the process so they can start their single post-divorce life. However, the procedure to get from filing for divorce to a divorce decree can be rather lengthy and complex. This is especially true for couples going through a high asset divorce. In some cases, spouses will go to great lengths to protect property from the divorce, even going as far as hiding it from their ex. This could present some major problems, especially if these assets are uncovered during dissolution.

Offshore accounts, which are widely used by secretive companies, public officials, drug kingpins and money launderers, are also used, although less frequently, by wealthy spouses seeking to hide or protect assets from the divorce process. However, when a high-asset in impending or ongoing and spouses take these measures, there can be repercussions for these actions.

No matter the intentions for opening up an offshore account, it is important that individuals file for the account. Otherwise he or she could face criminal charges for fraud and tax evasion. This could result whether or not a spouse opened the account to defraud a spouse or to protect their assets on behalf of their heirs.

Reports regarding offshore companies claim that these are not only used to hide wealth from taxable authorities but are also used as a vehicle for wealthy spouses seeking to hide assets from divorce proceedings. In order to put a dent in this white-collar crime, harsh penalties have been passed for those caught taking such steps. Additionally, forensic accountants specialize in this issue, helping to pinpoint spouses that are using an offshore account to hide assets.

Thus, if you believe your spouse has been hiding assets from the divorce proceedings, it is important to enlist financial experts to uncover these actions. Because other countries have been more forthcoming with sharing financial information with the U.S., it is now easier to track wealthy couples using offshore accounts to hide assets.

Source: The Washington Post, "How the world's wealthy hide millions offshore - from their spouses," accessed June 15, 2017.

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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