How do divorce courts divide assets in another country?

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2023 | DIVORCE - High-Asset Divorce |

When a divorce case involves multiple high-value properties, it is not surprising that parties fall into dispute. Additionally, if some of those assets are in another country, the property division process becomes more complex than it already is. When this happens, the court intervenes and decides how to distribute the assets between the spouses.

Digging into documentation

Before the courts process the property division, they have to look into all the assets involved, local or abroad, based on the parties’ disclosures and documentation. This step significantly helps with property assessment and valuation.

Moreover, the documentation can provide details about each asset, which plays a material role in the division since different rules apply depending on the asset’s nature. For instance, foreign bank accounts may be fairly easier to handle since U.S. courts have control over the financial accounts of account owners who are U.S. citizens. On the other hand, dividing real property in a foreign land is more complex and difficult.

Property division adjustments

Generally, properties in another country are subject to that country’s laws, both on property division and tax. Nevertheless, while U.S. courts cannot divide property in a foreign country, they can indirectly divide the marital assets based on the total amount. For instance, the court may award one spouse with their marital vacation home in another country while awarding the other spouse with properties of similar value.

Keeping rights and interests in check

High-asset property division can be tricky. Not only do parties have to be up to date with the applicable laws and processes, but they also have to look out for controversial issues, like hidden assets, which are common in property division.

An effective way to protect your rights and property interests during property division is to stay alert, explore your options and work with a competent legal team for solutions.