Florida Divorce Attorney Experienced in Foreign Assets and Businesses
Knowledgeable lawyer for equitable distribution of offshore holdings
Florida is home to a great number of international entrepreneurs with significant business holdings in foreign countries. Additionally, many Floridians have moved assets offshore as part of their estate planning strategy. Not surprisingly, when these individuals go through a divorce, the equitable distribution of their property is very complicated. Fortunately, the Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A. has vast experience representing clients in disputes over complex international finances. We know how to compel full disclosure of assets that might otherwise remain hidden and to properly value holdings in foreign countries. We are meticulous in our preparation, so we can go into court prepared to assert your rights and secure your financial future.
Applying the equitable distribution process to foreign assets
Parties to a divorce are required to fully disclose their finances, but when a party has significant foreign assets, that’s often easier said than done. After all, many people place assets offshore to put them out of the reach of claimants, whether the claimants are creditors or spouses. Foreign assets raise the following complexities for Florida’s equitable distribution process:
- Disclosing assets and debts — Spouses often flout their responsibility to fully disclose assets when those assets are offshore. We use the discovery process to compel compliance. We often consult with forensic accountants and other experts in finance to discover assets an opposing party has hidden.
- Identifying assets and debts as separate or marital — Only marital assets are subject to equitable distribution. If a party acquired international assets prior to the marriage, those may not be subject to distribution. However, spouses who have foreign bank accounts that are separate might illegally transfer marital assets in anticipation of divorce. Likewise, a spouse could transfer real property to a corporation or a trust set up offshore. We work to unwind these types of fraudulent conveyances and restore assets to the marital estate.
- Valuing the assets and debt — Assets that are subject to foreign markets and measured in foreign currency can be difficult to put a price on. We work with financial experts to get accurate valuations based on reliable metrics.
- Distributing assets and debt — Assets in foreign countries are not subject to in rem jurisdiction in the Florida court, but the parties to a divorce are subject to in personam jurisdiction. Therefore, the court cannot seize foreign property, but it can order one spouse to transfer or sell assets to the other, and hold a party in contempt for refusing to obey the court order. The court can impose fines and jail time for a party’s failure to comply.
For help with equitable distribution and other complex jurisdictional issues, you can trust our knowledge and experience.
Call a Florida divorce lawyer experienced in foreign asset distribution
If you or your spouse has significant offshore wealth, the Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A. can manage the complexities of your divorce in an efficient and cost-effective manner. You can rely on our in-depth knowledge and experience. Call us today 305-670-8656 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Se habla español.