Beroes Law Center

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Is your soon-to-be ex-spouse hiding assets offshore?

Divorcing couples in Pennsylvania should spend ample time determining what assets the other spouse may have that he or she does not know about. One way some spouses try to hide assets is through an offshore account. There are a number of ways a spouse can find out if the other one is keeping money from him or her, but it can take some investigating.

According to the American Bar Association, discovering hidden assets is the only way a spouse can have access to them so this needs to be the first priority. Looking for and at certain documents is one of the techniques used. These documents may include:

  • Credit card invoices
  • Address book, paying special attention to unknown and foreign numbers
  • 1099s to ensure all brokerage accounts have been disclosed
  • Tax returns
  • Loan applications
  • Employer-based benefits such as retirement plans or stock options 
  • Bank account records, including for those holding hard assets

Assets may also be uncovered through a criminal proceeding, but spouses are encouraged to tread carefully in this area. 

As the ABA mentions, tax returns are a good source for finding assets, especially foreign ones, because any income generated from these must be reported to the IRS. According to the IRS, there are a couple forms that may list offshore income. These forms include 8938, the Statement of Foreign Financial Assets, and Part III of Schedule B. Spouses can also ask for a FBAR, which is the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, and this form is separate from a Federal tax return.




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