In the old days, a spouse who was suspicious that their partner was hiding assets from them would hire a private investigator in hopes of turning up information, lawyers say. But now, funds are transferred electronically and many clients never set foot in the offshore jurisdiction where they have their accounts. So today, most lawyers wait for the court to order ‘‘discovery,’’ a process in which both parties exchange information pertinent to the case, and then look for instances where assets have mysteriously disappeared.
Experts in the industry say that Americans are still hiding money offshore from litigious spouses and tax officials alike, but that it is getting harder for them to do so. In the last few years, the Obama administration and the Treasury department have erected staggering penalties for those who hide their wealth offshore, as well as many new reporting requirements.