Kennedy Law Associates

Why digital currency can complicate a divorce

Cryptocurrency has been available to those living in North Carolina and elsewhere since 2009 when Bitcoin was introduced. However, digital currencies are now getting more time in the spotlight as they have increased in value and have gotten more attention from the media. For couples who are going through the divorce process, valuing a digital coin can be a contentious issue. It can also be tempting for an individual to sell or hide the asset from a spouse.

Digital coins may be difficult to hide if they were bought through an online exchange. Of course, it is still possible to hold them in a digital wallet offline, and the process of finding such holdings can be lengthy and expensive. If hidden assets are found, a judge could impose sanctions such as jail time or financial penalties. The other spouse could also receive a larger share of any assets that have already been disclosed.

Even if a person chooses to disclose his or her digital coin holdings, they tend to fluctuate in value quickly. In some cases, the value of an investment can change by tens of thousands of dollars over the course of weeks or months. Therefore, it may be necessary to determine how much digital coins are worth several times throughout the course of a divorce.

The asset division process may be complicated regardless of what a couple acquired while they were married. This is because individuals may have a sentimental attachment to a home, car or other property. It may be a good idea for individuals who are going through a divorce to get help from a legal professional. This may make it easier to craft a settlement that allows an individual to maintain a reasonable lifestyle as a single person.

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