In general, courts penalize Michigan residents who hide assets in a divorce proceeding. However, it is difficult for the court to do so when the spouse has taken advantage of something that is completely legal under the laws of another state. South Dakota has given people a virtually unfettered right to shield money in its borders, making it difficult for spouses to obtain their rightful share of the marital estate.
One billionaire financier moved nearly all of his money to asset trusts created in South Dakota. The state has become known as an international destination for those looking to protect their money with trusts. This has drawn the attention of foreign oligarchs who have reportedly moved hundreds of billions of dollars to the state. South Dakota law makes this money virtually untouchable.
This is what the billionaire’s wife has learned the hard way. After spending millions of dollars in legal fees, she has reached a near-dead end in her divorce case. Her husband left her with a marital estate of $12 million, and she has almost reached a standstill in her unsuccessful efforts to reach the money in South Dakota. Now, she is practically out of cash and options in her attempt to get her share of the marital estate. Her husband, who informed her of the divorce by registered mail, appears to have leveraged the system against her.
Those who are involved in divorce proceedings where there are a lot of assets involved may seek the services of a divorce attorney. Sometimes, spouses engage in a complex series of transactions to hide money that are not always apparent to the spouse. The attorney may be able to follow the money trail to at least to alert the divorce court that the spouse is shielding money from the marital estate.