The laws of a Midwestern state may actually impact a Maryland divorce if there is a large marital estate. South Dakota has become a haven for assets when the wealthy want to take advantage of its laws that help shield money. This has worked to the detriment of one tycoon’s wife, who finds herself in a tenuous situation in their divorce.
The couple lived a luxurious lifestyle over their 30 years of marriage. The husband is the founder of a successful trading firm, and the wife estimates that the value of their marital estate exceeds $2 billion. However, the husband began moving nearly all of the marital estate into South Dakota trusts. He had made his wife the beneficiary but soon switched the beneficiary to someone else. However, South Dakota law did not require him to say a word to his wife.
After the husband informed his wife by a registered letter that he was divorcing her, she discovered that nearly all of the couple’s possessions, including her jewelry, were moved into these trusts. As a result, the marital estate now stands at $12 million. Even if the wife is able to obtain a favorable ruling from the Texas court, she may simply not be able to touch all of the assets that are stashed in South Dakota. She may very well end up with nothing from the billionaire divorce.
When there are any assets in the marital estate, it is vital that a spouse knows exactly what and where they are. A divorce attorney may help their client learn more about the assets by making information requests during the divorce process. If things do not look right, the attorney may investigate further in order to locate any assets that are hidden. In general, courts react negatively when spouses attempt to shield assets.