Divorce is often a long and involved process; division of marital assets is one of the most challenging elements of a dissolution of marriage. Once the legal process begins, both spouses are required to disclose all their assets, from property to cash.
I have seen many cases during my 25-plus years of family law practice where one spouse is not as forthcoming as they should be about assets obtained during their marriage. Approximately 41% of all U.S. adults who combine finances with a spouse admit to some degree of financial deception, according to a 2018 report from The National Endowment for Financial Education. Failure to disclose during the initial negotiations is fraudulent as they could remain out of court proceedings through domestic and offshore trusts, business entities, or hidden property. Now, with cryptocurrency becoming more mainstream, there is a rise in people using it as a shelter for assets they do not want to disclose.
Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency. It serves as money such as dollars, pounds, euros but has no physical counterpart. It exists only in electronic form and is a modern way of protecting personal wealth beyond restriction or confiscation. The most familiar forms of cryptocurrency to date are Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. All three are now accepted at major retailers including Microsoft, Home Depot, and Whole Foods. They increasingly play a significant role in day-to-day commerce. Additionally, there are hundreds of other cryptocurrencies on the market that are gaining traction. Though there are some risks associated with trading cryptocurrency due to its volatility, investment in this digital currency is rising with plenty of benefits.
Even though cryptocurrency is quickly becoming the newest financial shield for assets and income, severe penalties for hiding assets during the divorce process, including perjury, legal costs, and monetary fines, remain.
With cryptocurrency and divorce on the rise, it is critical to hire a skilled lawyer who can spot the signs early and work with a forensic expert to locate and value all marital assets to ensure an equitable and fair split.