Hartley Law Office, LLC

Hartley Law Office, LLC

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How will offshore bank accounts be handled in a divorce?

Someone who watches movies or television regularly may have the impression that there is something inherently illegal or sneaky about an offshore bank account. The reality, however, is that an offshore bank account is perfectly legal; it is simply a bank account held in an institution outside of one's own country.

Many people, including many residents in and around Dayton, Ohio, hold an offshore bank account for a variety of legitimate financial reasons, as these accounts may be part of a sound investment strategy.

Indeed, many members of the military who have served overseas may have simply kept a bank account that they originally opened in a country where they were stationed.

While offshore banking is not illegal per se, people can get in to trouble if they try to use the account to skirt the law or hide assets. This is true in the context of a divorce or legal separation. Like any other savings or checking account, an offshore account will likely be considered marital property subject to property division.

As such, in the middle of a divorce, neither spouse should try to conceal an offshore account, whether the account has existed for a long time or was recently established. These assets will need to be disclosed.

Complications can arise when trying to divide up offshore accounts between spouses. After all, the laws of the country in which the account is held may be very different from those in Ohio or even within the United States as a whole. Having the help of a family law attorney may be important in this respect.

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