Divorce and cryptocurrency

by | Mar 21, 2019 | High-Asset Divorce |

Cryptocurrencies became part of the financial landscape in 2009 with the launch of the Bitcoin. It has since become a factor in many divorces in which one or both spouses have cryptocurrency assets. California residents with cryptocurrency holdings who are considering getting divorce should be prepared to endure a lengthy and complicated divorce process.

There are few family law firms with the understanding of or experience with cryptocurrencies to handle divorces in which cryptocurrencies feature as high-value financial assets. It can be very difficult to value a cryptocurrency asset as their prices tend to change often. It is also easy to conceal cryptocurrency assets.

Trying to locate undisclosed cryptocurrency assets tends to result in significant amounts of money and time being spent. However, finding such assets is not impossible, especially if the assets were purchased using an online exchange.

The other issue when dealing with cryptocurrencies in a divorce is accurately valuating the assets. The value of assets is typically established for the date on which the divorce petition was filed. However, a growing number of people believe that using another date, such as when the assets are distributed, is more suitable for assets whose price fluctuates often and wildly because of market factors.

Cryptocurrency assets need to be protected during a divorce. Some experts liken the situation of dealing with cryptocurrency to the issues involved with handling artwork. A digital forensics expert may be hired to ensure that the private key allowing access to the cryptocurrency is kept confidential so that no funds will be misappropriated.

A divorce attorney may work to ensure that clients receive favorable settlement terms regarding the division of high-value assets like cryptocurrencies. Litigation might be used compel the opposing party to disclose valuable hidden assets, including offshore accounts or property interests.