Bitcoin is a new player in divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2019 | Divorce |

Divorce is difficult and financial matters can make it harder. Most people are familiar with the kinds of struggles one can have over retirement accounts, investment portfolios, real estate and other financial concerns, but now there is a new contender on the block, cryptocurrency. One of the most popular forms of cryptocurrency is known as bitcoin. The newcomer has introduced a new element of difficulty into divorce in Ohio.

Cryptocurrency is what it sounds like — it’s virtual currency that exists online and is traded on a virtual market known as a blockchain. Privacy is maintained via a public and private key that makes each transaction traceable to a single person. Last year, roughly 5 percent of the American population held any bitcoin, but as the popularity rises so will the holdings.

It is not uncommon when asked to state one’s net worth to include any cryptocurrency accounts. It is not yet commonplace on court forms but more attorney’s are asking for it. There is still much that is not known or understood about the currency, but it is known that its presence can complicate and prolong divorce proceedings. The currency is largely unregulated and one fear is that it may yield a means for hiding assets. In one recent case, $100,000 in cryptocurrency was left off of a net worth statement and was only discovered during analysis of bank statements.

In the evermore digital world, financial changes can happen in what seems like the blink of an eye. A person considering divorce in Ohio could benefit from professional advice where cryptocurrency is involved. A knowledgeable attorney can review the situation and help one’s client to be aware of all of the legal options available.