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Cryptocurrency Like Bitcoin Increasingly Used to Hide Assets During Divorce

Posted on in Property Division

crystal lake divorce lawyerWords like “Bitcoin,” “Ether,” and “Dogecoin” were completely foreign to the general public until approximately ten years ago. Since its inception, cryptocurrency has surged in popularity. Some estimates put the total value of the top ten cryptocurrencies at $1.2 trillion. If your spouse has invested in cryptocurrency and you plan to divorce, you may be entitled to a share of the currency’s value. Unfortunately, the mutable nature of cryptocurrency makes it hard to value in a divorce. Even more importantly, cryptocurrency is not stored in a bank like traditional forms of currency which makes it a popular vehicle for hiding assets in a divorce.

Underreporting Digital Currency in Divorce Case

When two spouses divorce in Illinois, an important part of the process involves both spouses disclosing their property, debts, and other financial information. The spouse’s financial circumstances influence everything from child support to property division. Consequently, lying on the financial disclosure forms by failing to disclose Bitcoin or other digital currency can dramatically impact the case’s outcome. If you or your spouse own cryptocurrency, it is important to work with a divorce attorney who has experience handling complex assets such as digital currency. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding some digital assets, your attorney may suggest working with a forensic accountant. The accountant can search for clues that point to undisclosed assets and income.

Understanding Ownership and Digital Currency

In Illinois, marital property includes assets that either spouse acquired during the marriage. This includes cryptocurrency. If your spouse purchased cryptocurrency with marital funds, you are entitled to an equitable share of the cryptocurrency’s value. You may decide to split the currency between you and your spouse, or you may offset your spouse’s cryptocurrency by taking assets of similar value. Of course, when addressing cryptocurrency in a divorce, one of the hardest questions to answer is how much the crypto is worth. Divorce cases can take several months or a year or longer to resolve, and the price of Bitcoin can vary wildly during that time. There may also be significant tax implications associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Contact a Crystal Lake Property Division Lawyer

If you are getting divorced in McHenry County or the surrounding areas, contact Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC for help. Our team of skilled Illinois divorce lawyers can help you properly value and address complex assets like digital currency in your divorce. If your spouse is hiding assets, we will help you uncover the assets, so you get the property division settlement you deserve. Call 815-338-3838 for a free, confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/28/dividing-cryptocurrency-in-a-divorce-settlement-is-complicated.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/01/divorcing-spouses-are-using-cryptocurrency-to-hide-money-how-experts-find-it.html

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