There are many people in the White Plains area that own what are dubbed offshore accounts, but which may be more aptly described as accounts held in foreign banks.

Despite the fact that Hollywood and even the news media have given offshore banking a bit of bad name, it is in fact a legal way of investing one’s money. It can even give New Yorkers several perfectly legitimate tax benefits and financial advantages.

With respect to a divorce situation or, for that matter, other disputes over property, having an offshore account may present some legal issues about which the owner of the account needs to be aware. This is true even when the owner of the account has been transparent in creating it and has been candid about its existence.

For one, as is the case with other property, an offshore account is subject to an equitable division between the two spouses, assuming that it is indeed marital property. This means that like other assets, either the couple will have to agree on how to account for it with respect to their fair share in the marital property, or they will have to let a judge decide that issue.

Moreover, since the account is held in a foreign government, on a practical level more than one set of laws may apply to the offshore account, and this could present difficulties should the account need to be sold or transferred.

Although relatively rare, there is also always the possibility that one side or the other will try to conceal an offshore account in order to hide assets during a divorce. In these circumstances, one may need legal help with identifying the account, getting information on it, and then having the judge divvy it up fairly.