Hiding assets during a divorce

| Jun 1, 2020 | divorce

When you’re trying to settle a divorce in Florida, you’ll need to exchange financial information with your spouse at some point. The process can get difficult if they’re trying to hide or shield their assets. This happens more than you think, and courts do not react well if they find out that a spouse has been engaging in this behavior. However, one billionaire may be getting away with exactly that.

South Dakota trusts allow for asset shielding

The husband, a financier from Texas, moved well over a billion dollars of assets into trusts that he formed in South Dakota. If you are wondering why he chose South Dakota of all places, it’s because the state has laws that are incredibly permissive when it comes to trusts. To attract money to the state, South Dakota legislators devised laws that give extensive protections and secrecy to trusts. When money is moved to these trusts, it is virtually impossible to touch.

From over $1 billion to $12 million

The financier’s wife has learned the hard way that South Dakota trusts cannot be touched. After she was informed of the divorce by registered mail, she soon discovered that her husband had taken nearly all of the money out of the marital estate. Now, she faces the real prospect of getting her share of a marital estate valued at $12 million when she and her husband were billionaires. There is an upcoming trial in the case, but the wife will have a significant challenge to reach the South Dakota trust.

If you’re involved in a divorce and there are assets to be divided, a family law attorney could protect your interests. Your attorney could pay close attention to any financial information you receive and make sure that your spouse has not siphoned assets off of the marital estate or taken any other measures to keep you from getting your share of the property.