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How to handle cryptocurrency assets in a divorce

Some people in Illinois who are getting a divorce may suspect a spouse of hiding cryptocurrency assets. This can be particularly easy to do if the cryptocurrency is purchased directly and then moved offline. However, penalties for hiding assets in a divorce could include getting fewer marital assets and going to jail for contempt of court.

Even when a person purchases cryptocurrency through an online exchange, which is less difficult to trace, the process of finding it can be costly in time and money. Many experts lack experience in cryptocurrency although one certified financial forensics accountant reported finding $100,000 in cryptocurrency assets that a man did not report by examining bank statements.

Cryptocurrency values vary widely, and this can create problems when it comes to property division. When the asset is valuated can make a significant difference. According to one British lawyer, a case involved assets that were purchased in November 2016 for £80,000. They reached a high of £1 million, but by February 2018, they were back down to £600,000. Assessing the value of cryptocurrency may be something that needs to happen several times during the divorce process to compensate for this volatility.

Cryptocurrency is not the only type of asset that can present complications in a divorce. Some people may be surprised at the challenges that can arise in splitting common assets such as a home or a pension plan. One person might want to keep the home but be unable to afford the associated costs, but selling the home could also be difficult if the market is slow. For a pension plan, it is not possible to simply take a distribution and give it to a spouse. A distribution in case of divorce must be made using a document called a qualified domestic relations order that is approved by the plan administrator. A family law attorney may help individuals sort through these various complications.