When a couple seeks to end their union, the process of dividing marital wealth often becomes a central focus. That process begins with both spouses disclosing the full range of wealth, regardless of whether the assets are considered separate or marital property. Without the proper level of disclosure, it is virtually impossible to reach a fair settlement. Unfortunately, there are many spouses in Florida and elsewhere who will go to great lengths to shield assets from loss during divorce. In such cases, having a good property division lawyer working on one’s behalf is an asset in and of itself.
An example can be found in a doctor who drove more than 4,000 miles in an attempt to conceal assets from his wife after she filed for divorce in 2007. The plastic surgeon gathered up nearly $3 million in assets and converted them into cashier’s checks. He then packed up his car and drove all the way to Costa Rica, where he deposited some of the funds into a bank account before continuing on to Panama to place the rest in a shell corporation.
His actions were eventually exposed, and he is now facing an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to failing to disclose the assets during his divorce, the man also failed to notify the IRS of his foreign holdings. When questioned about his actions, the man stated that he was not trying to hide assets, but only to protect them from loss during a difficult time in the couple’s marriage.
As this case demonstrates, many spouses will lose all sense of reason and logic when faced with the news of a divorce. For those in Florida who are concerned that their partner may be taking steps to hide assets, it is important to contact a property division attorney to look into the matter. In addition to providing legal advice, the attorney can help connect clients with forensic accountants, who are trained to find assets that a spouse has attempted to hide.
Source: The Boston Globe, “Panama Papers provides look at the divorces of the wealthy“, Ana Swanson, April 19, 2016