International Assets And Real Estate

Question: We reside in the US, but have property (a house) in the Philippines bought when married. It is in her name, for convenience due to Philippine law. Is it part of our joint assets to be divided?


Answer: How property is titled may or may not affect how the property is treated in the divorce.  The laws of the state in which you are divorced will determine the marital nature, value, and division of the Philippine property in your divorce.  The specifics of the acquisition and maintenance of the property may come into play, such as the source of funds for the purchase and maintenance of the property, how decisions were made regarding the property, and any documentation or agreements regarding the acquisition and maintenance of the property.  Philippine law may also come into play as to how the property may be transferred in the divorce or the consequences of any transfer in the divorce.  A qualified domestic relations attorney in your state can evaluate the situation and advise you as to issues in your case.


Richard Coffee is a Litigation Manager in the Belleville Illinois office of Cordell & Cordell. He is an experienced divorce attorney whose practice is devoted to domestic litigation. He is licensed in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.

Mr. Coffee has extensive domestic litigation trial experience representing clients in courts throughout Illinois on all aspects of domestic litigation, including the representation of clients who are current or retired military personnel with issues under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, clients involved in state court jurisdictional disputes due to the relocation of one or both parties from or to Illinois, and clients with government or private pension benefit valuation and division issues.

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