An Attorney Who Has Walked In Your Shoes

How would an offshore account be treated in a divorce?

The idea of an offshore account may connote some sense of mystery or even inherently illegal activity. However, the reality is that offshore accounts are simply bank or investment accounts that are held in foreign countries. Residents of Springfield, Massachusetts, even if they are of relatively modest means, can and often do own these sorts of accounts for a variety of reasons.

Offshore accounts will generally be treated as any other asset being divided in the course of a divorce or legal separation. Since Massachusetts is an equitable division state, the starting point would be to split the property in half in some way, assuming the bank account is marital property in the first place. Of course, a fair division of property does not always imply a perfect 50-50 split.

The trouble with offshore accounts in the context of a divorce is not how to divide them, as they will be divided like other property. The trouble lies with the fact that, many times, one party may try to stash away a lot of wealth in an offshore account in an effort to hide it during the divorce and then access it later. The privacy laws of other countries, as well as the extra layer of complexity of dealing with the laws of more than one country, make it easier to engage in this sort of improper behavior.

Still, with the help of an experienced family law attorney, one can locate an offshore account and insist that it be divided fairly.