In a Louisiana divorce, spouses have many different ways to hide assets. They can move property or even intentionally give a lower value to assets in plain sight. In some cases, the court will exact a heavy price for this conduct. However, one Texas billionaire seems well on the way to getting away with it because he took advantage of a loophole in South Dakota.
Some U.S. states try to encourage people to move their money to trusts located in those states. They make money from fees, so they want as much property in trusts as possible. This is what South Dakota has done, and it has resulted in an estimated $1 trillion of assets being moved to the state. Some of these assets belong to a Texas billionaire, who was using these trusts to hide assets from his wife when he knew he was about to get divorced.
Now, his wife is faced with the project of being almost completely shut out of a multi-billion-dollar marital estate. After her husband moved almost all of their assets out of his name and into the trust, the marital estate is now valued at $12 million. There is a trial scheduled as soon as courthouses reopen, but the wife faces a difficult fight in order to reach assets that are considered practically untouchable.
When there are any assets involved in a divorce, it may help to have a divorce attorney make sure that the spouse has given a full accounting of the assets and that everything is properly valued. The valuation of assets controls the division of the marital assets, so an attorney may fight on behalf of their client to ensure that their client gets their rightful share of the assets that the couple accumulated.