Local news for South Carolina reported on some divorce issues that may be unique to wealthy and high net worth individuals.
Some wealthy individuals go to great lengths to hide property
An investigation was prompted by certain individuals who choose to hide assets during a divorce, which is technically illegal. Some of these items are physically moved to other countries, or assets are put into international bank accounts. Others may use a complex web of trust accounts and shell companies that must be investigated by lawyers and other professionals who have experience tracking assets during divorce cases. Many companies know that they are hiding assets in offshore accounts and locations, but they are complicit in doing so and rarely face any kind of sanctions.
One divorce that caught the attention of journalists all over the world was a Russian billionaire who had vehicles and properties in various parts of Europe and all the way across the world in Hawaii. There were strong suspicions that most of this property was hidden from his wife during his publicized divorce. She claimed that he had been using tax havens and other means to hide his real estate and other sources of wealth. She also believes he made several illegal purchases while his assets were already frozen by order of a judge.
Some firms who assist in this process can be as far away as Panama or Thailand. In many cases, they openly advertise these kinds of services to high value and wealthy clients. Due to the bitterness of many divorces, there is a widespread belief that assets should not be lost in this manner despite the laws for property division in many U.S. states and around the world. Clients that utilize these means seem to have a fundamental belief that it is better to lose some wealth trying to hide and protect assets than to award these items to their former spouse in a court case.
Divorces and property division
In divorce cases, property is subject to classification as marital or non-marital, then it can be awarded to either spouse by a judge based on their determination of what is equitable. Property division is frustrating to many people going through a divorce because family court judges are given a lot of latitude. There is generally no way to predict exactly how a judge will divide the property in any given case.
Because of this randomness in property distribution, the best thing to do is contact an attorney who is experienced in the local divorce courts. They may have a sense of how the local judges will rule after handling many cases in front of them.
Speak with a local divorce attorney
There are lawyers in Greenville who serve clients in South Carolina with issues related to divorce and property division. To get help, contact:
870 Cleveland St., Suite 2D-A, Greenville, SC 29601