How are assets in offshore accounts divided in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2023 | Divorce |

The division of assets is a critical component of any divorce proceeding, but if you or your spouse has offshore accounts, you may wonder how to divide these assets in a New Hampshire divorce.

New Hampshire follows the principle of equitable distribution, which ensures the fair division of marital assets, including those in offshore accounts, though not necessarily equally. Understanding how the court handles these assets can help you navigate this complex aspect of your divorce.

Identifying marital assets

The first step is to identify which assets are part of the marital estate. New Hampshire law requires that this includes all assets, both tangible and intangible, acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the account. Therefore, offshore accounts acquired during the marriage are generally considered marital assets and subject to division during divorce.

Equitable distribution of assets

The court considers many factors when deciding what is equitable or fair. These factors may include the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, the ability of each spouse to earn income and each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate. The court applies these considerations to all marital assets, including offshore accounts.

Challenges with offshore accounts

While the process may seem straightforward, offshore accounts can pose unique challenges. These accounts are often in jurisdictions with strong privacy laws, making it difficult to determine their value. If one spouse is not forthright about the existence or value of offshore accounts, it may be necessary to hire a forensic accountant to investigate.

Honesty is crucial when it comes to dividing assets in a New Hampshire divorce. Both spouses must disclose all assets, including offshore accounts. If one spouse tries to hide assets or misrepresent their value, the court may impose penalties and adjust the asset division to favor the other spouse.