Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are considered popular investments. Many people across the country, including some here in Missouri, may have some type of virtual currency in their financial portfolios. While this may be a good thing, it can cause a few issues for those going through the divorce process.
Problem number one: locating the asset. Virtual currency trading is all done online. When kept online, it may be fairly easy to track down. However, some people may take their information offline, which can make locating this type of asset very difficult -- making it easier for people to hide cryptocurrency from divorce proceedings.
Problem number two: valuing the asset. The value of cryptocurrency is always changing. It recently reached a high of $20,000, only to drop a few days later down to $6,000. Market volatility makes valuing this type of asset a challenge, as a divorce may take months or even years to finalize.
Missouri residents who believe that their spouses are hiding assets -- such as cryptocurrency -- in order to keep more marital property for themselves can take steps to locate the asset. Will this prove easy -- no. Will they likely need help getting it done -- yes. An experienced divorce attorney, along with forensic accountants, can comb through all financial data in order to find any hidden assets and determine their fair value. In cases where an asset cannot be located, the offending party may be offered less in the final divorce settlement -- it will be left up to a judge to decide.
Source: Bloomberg, "Bitcoin Bitterness Starts to Make Messy Divorces Even Worse", Hannah George, Feb. 26, 2018