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Are International Assets Divided in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on May 16, 2024 in Property Division

DuPage County, IL divorce lawyerOne of the most complicated parts of the divorce process is asset division, also known as property division. It involves identifying a couple’s marital property, which means those assets that belong to both spouses jointly. Once identified, the marital property is then divided between the parties.

Asset division can become even more complicated if there are international assets, such as:

  • Vacation homes overseas

  • Foreign investment properties

  • Foreign retirement accounts

  • Overseas trusts

  • Overseas bank accounts

If your divorce involves foreign assets, consult our Illinois divorce attorney with experience in complex asset division. He will know which assets need to be divided and will engage a forensic accountant when necessary.

Which Assets Are Divided?

Under Illinois law, any assets that are acquired by either spouse during the marriage are considered marital property and belong to both spouses. There are exceptions to this rule, such as:

  • Inheritances

  • Gifts that are given to one spouse exclusively

  • Property acquired using non-marital property as collateral

By default, marital property is divided 50/50 between the spouses in an Illinois divorce.

Do Foreign Assets Need to Be Divided?

International properties and assets need to be divided just like domestic assets. The difference is that overseas assets are harder to find, and sometimes spouses take advantage of that to hide assets in a divorce.

Part of the process of asset division is that each spouse must submit a financial disclosure to the court. This is a legal document that lists each party’s assets, expenses, and liabilities. Lying on a financial disclosure or leaving out assets can be considered fraud by a court. If assets are divided and it is then discovered that one of the spouses hid assets, the divorce settlement can be nullified and the process of dividing assets could be significantly extended.

How Are Overseas Assets Divided?

Dividing overseas property can be complicated because an Illinois court does not have jurisdiction in other countries. Courts sometimes do have control over overseas bank accounts by having jurisdiction over the account owner. But when it comes to other assets like houses, it becomes more complex. A court cannot order that a vacation house in France be divided because that property is subject to French laws.

However, courts often find ways around this roadblock. For example, a court can award the house in France to one spouse and award the value of that house to the other spouse in domestic assets. So, if the vacation home is worth $2 million, the court can award other assets totaling $1 million to the spouse who does not own the home and thereby divide the value of the home between spouses. 

Contact a DuPage County, IL Property Division Lawyer

Asset division is a complex process and should be done with the help of a skilled attorney. This is especially true if some of the assets are overseas. An experienced Wheaton, Illinois asset division attorney will be able to guide you through your financial disclosure and explain how those assets will be distributed.

At Davi Law Group, we are not only highly experienced in foreign asset division but we will also connect you with resources such as forensic accountants when necessary. When we handle your case, you can be assured that we will vigorously fight to protect your interests. Get your free consultation by calling 630-657-5052 today.

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