The property division process is one of the most important parts of a divorce in New York. A couple’s future greatly depends on its success. Unfortunately, since the rise in cryptocurrency and other online digital assets, some people have found a way to hide or obscure their assets to avoid dividing them. It is important to be aware of this new technology and how it can complicate a divorce in New York.
How people hide assets with cryptocurrencies
The essence of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ creation was to steer clear of government or third-party regulation. The entire blockchain network that this technology uses is completely anonymous.
A spouse that’s trying to hide assets can buy, sell or trade these digital currencies without ever having to produce any documentation. And, they can use an offline wallet, akin to a flash drive, to store millions of dollars worth of crypto without anyone ever finding out.
How it affects divorce
The property division process in New York is pretty straightforward. Couples provide a list of everything they own, including their salaries and bank accounts, and then the court divides it equitably. This works well for assets that are in plain view. However, when cryptocurrencies are involved, complex asset division ensues.
If one spouse has concealed any crypto asset or mined Bitcoin without informing the other, that valuable asset won’t be part of the divorce settlement. As such, the other spouse will not receive their fair share of marital assets. Moreover, this concealment could dramatically affect child support or alimony payments.
What to do
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets with cryptocurrencies, find evidence to corroborate your suspicion. This could be emails, text messages or even a computer with blockchain storage. You could also hire a forensic accountant to investigate the matter and help you unveil any hidden assets.
The bottom line is that cryptocurrencies can complicate asset division in New York divorces. Knowing how people hide their digital assets and what to do if you suspect your spouse of concealing them can be the difference between getting a fair property settlement and them leaving you with nothing. Stay informed on this new technology so you don’t get taken advantage of during divorce proceedings.