Cryptocurrency has been popping up in recent months in Gulfport media. The focus has mostly been on the meteoric rise of Bitcoin and its dramatic drops in value. Earlier this year, the well-known digital currency soared to more than $63,000, but has fallen back to about $37,000 as we write this. Where will it be tomorrow? No one knows.
Because of crypto’s increasing popularity – experts estimate that more than 20 million Americans own one form of it or another – it is becoming a tool some spouses use to try to hide assets in a divorce. They believe the largely unregulated, anonymous form of digital money can help them to avoid an equitable division of assets.
It should be noted that it is illegal in Mississippi to hide assets in divorce. A spouse caught hiding wealth might wind up with fewer assets in property division and other penalties. In worst-case scenarios, people face criminal charges for perjury and other crimes.
About 41 percent of adults who combine finances with a spouse or partner admit to at least some financial deception, according to a 2018 report from The National Endowment for Financial Education. That figure is undoubtedly higher when a high net-worth divorce is on the horizon.
Difficult, not impossible
While crypto is difficult to trace, it’s not impossible to do in divorce. It can be uncovered in a number of forms of discovery: depositions, interrogatories, requests for documents, subpoenas and more.
Examinations of documents such as bank and credit card statements can reveal transactions with crypto exchanges.
Links to exchanges such as Coinbase, PrimeXBT and BlockFi can also be detected on laptops, phones and tablets by forensic experts.
A family law attorney experienced in the resolution of asset division disputes can help to ensure that your rights and interests will be protected throughout the divorce process.