Divorces are infamous for being complex when it comes to defining which asset should be divided to which partner. Virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin or Litecoin, pose an increase in complexity when calculating their worth and deciding how to divide them between each party. In addition, the lack of paper trails when using the currency creates a sense of uncertainty among partners, leading them to believe there is an unfair division of assets.
By a party failing to disclose their digital currency, it can further elongate the litigation process resulting in more expensive legal fees. Furthermore, the failure to disclose digital currency creates a level of distrust among the partners, where they would question the judicial decision based on the level of fairness for both partners.
Finding hidden cryptocurrency can be easy if it was purchased using funds from a checking account. In a situation where the owner transfers their digital wallet onto a USB, a digital forensic expert will be required in order to search through the user’s email to find any possible transactions or purchases made. The addition of adding a forensic expert may result in costing more than the virtual currency is worth.
Another issue revolving cryptocurrency in relation to divorces is the volatility of the currency. In December 2018, Bitcoin’s estimated worth was nearly $20,000. Within two months, the monetary value dropped to $6,000. This unpredictability creates a problem when appraising the value of the coins during a divorce process, which can extend through several months. A tactic that lawyers have found is to evenly divide the currency among both partners to prevent one party from being hurt from the ever-changing value.
To learn more about the divorce process, or to seek counsel for a family law case, please do not hesitate to contact Evie P. Jeang, Managing Partner of Ideal Legal Group and Founder of Surrogacy Concierges.