The leak of the so-called "Panama Papers" has sent ripples of fear among the rich and powerful around the world who have been keeping their wealth hidden from tax collectors and others in offshore accounts. Some of these others include spouses and ex-spouses.
The revelations of these offshore accounts by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists could impact divorce settlements in America and around the world. However, they may also incentivize people to seek new ways to hide their money. As one divorce attorney in the United Kingdom notes, the leak of this information "will almost certainly drive some people to create new and more complicated vehicles which may ultimately make it more difficult to identify the assets they contain in a divorce case."
Some of the 11 million documents and other records that were allegedly leaked from a legal and trust services, Mossack Fonseca, refer specifically to clients' intentions to hide their assets from spouses in anticipation of a divorce. People often spend a significant amount of money trying to track down the assets of an estranged spouse in an effort to show his or her true wealth and therefore obtain a fair settlement.
The revelations in the Panama Papers will no doubt have a significant impact on many people. They have already brought down Iceland's prime minister and put the U.K.'s Prime Minister David Cameron under scrutiny. However, there will always be ways for people to hide their money if they're determined to do so. An experienced Florida family law attorney can help you work to locate your spouse's assets to help ensure that you and your children obtain the money to which you are entitled.
Source: CNN Money, "Panama Papers: How the rich try to hide assets from their exes," Ivana Kottasova, April 08, 2016