How Are Overseas Assets Handled In A Divorce?
Although this is a tricky and often times confusing part of a divorce, whenever a couple deals with any overseas property or assets, it is still possible to order a fair division of assets. Some of the most common types of overseas properties that I deal with in my divorces are:
- Bank accounts,
- Investment properties,
- Second homes, and
- Plots of land
Assets such as a home, land, and investment properties, are often subject to the laws of the country in which they are located. On the other hand, financial accounts and personal property are typically subject to the laws of the country in which the divorce was filed.
During the divorce, both parties have an obligation to disclose all of their financial information for purposes of an equitable distribution. This includes listing all assets and all debts that each party holds, either separate or community. Although the parties are under an obligation to disclose all their assets, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they always disclose every asset. Often times we’re faced with spouses who either completely fail to disclose an asset or they lie about the value of that asset. For this reason, I council my clients to conduct their due diligence prior to filing for the divorce. I ask clients to make a list of all the assets, account numbers, and values that they have in order to ensure that those assets are included in the divorce and are able to then be equitably divided.
Generally speaking, before the court can have authority to make a binding order for the parties to follow, the court must have jurisdiction over the party and over the property. Although the courts cannot directly control division of properties in another country, the courts will have a right to divide it indirectly and thus compelling the division by way of having jurisdiction over the parties.
For example, let’s say that the court deems that a particular overseas property, belonging to the community estate, is valued at $100,000. The Nevada court could simply give a $100,000 credit to one spouse, while the sole ownership of the overseas property remains with the other spouse.
Overall, do not simply think that because a property may be located in another country that the court does not have power to equitably divide it. If the court has jurisdiction over the parties, it is likely that the court can have and make orders regarding the division of that asset.
Because this tends to be a somewhat complicated topic, it’s important to discuss your specific situation with an experienced family law attorney. If you’re contemplating divorce, or concerned your spouse may be hiding assets, contact our office to discuss your options. To schedule a consultation contact us at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling a consultation online.