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Locating and valuing cryptocurrency assets in a divorce

Investors in Ohio and around the country have taken an interest in cryptocurrencies in recent years for several reasons. Alternative currencies like Bitcoin exist outside the realm of government regulation and can be purchased and transferred easily. These benefits have also made them a popular way for high-net-worth individuals to conceal their assets during divorce cases. When dealing with marital estates that include or could include cryptocurrency holdings, the biggest challenges facing divorcing spouses and their attorneys is locating the assets and then placing a value on them.

When cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are acquired using an online exchange, they are harder to conceal and can usually be located by examining bank records. However, when these assets are purchased directly and then transferred overseas, finding them is extremely difficult. This is partly because the kind of individuals who engage in this type of behavior tend to be shrewd and careful, which means that they rarely leave a paper trail or electronic fingerprints.

Placing a value on cryptocurrency assets can also be a contentious process. The value of marital assets is generally established based on their going price when divorce papers were first filed, but many experts feel that cryptocurrencies and assets like them should be valued when marital property is distributed. This is because their value can fluctuate widely over very short periods of time.

The ramifications of hiding assets during a divorce can be serious. When family law attorneys believe that this has taken place, professionals such as forensic accountants may be called in to pore over investment documents and financial records.

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