Hiding assets is a real concern in a Georgia divorce. One spouse may try to move money and property into a different asset structure or to another undisclosed account in order to keep it from being divided. In some cases, they may even move the property into a trust where the other spouse can have difficulty reaching it.
One billionaire couple had a multitude of properties with a marital estate that even included a $5 million Egyptian mummy. However, the husband began moving money into South Dakota trusts at a rapid clip. The thing about trusts in South Dakota is that the laws are very favorable for the ultra-wealthy who want to shield money in an impenetrable way. There may be close to $1 trillion of assets in these trusts. Even Chinese billionaires reportedly make use of these trusts to keep money from their government.
The billionaire’s wife has reached close to an end in her quest to reach the trusts. She has a divorce trial upcoming, but there are doubts about her ability to receive part of the South Dakota trusts even if she wins the trial. There is now a real concern that asset trusts in permissive states may become another vehicle that the wealthy can use to keep the money from their spouse in a divorce so long as they move the money out of their name.
When there is a high amount of assets in the marital estate, a family law lawyer may be helpful. It might have been difficult for the wife to even learn of the existence of the South Dakota trusts if she did not have a lawyer working to obtain information for her. A spouse’s lawyer may send discovery requests to the other side to learn more about where any hidden assets are.