Smith, Meier & Webb, LPA

How Bitcoin is creating problems in family law circles

Bitcoin, the popular cryptocurrency, has been in the news quite frequently since its inception in 2009. Most recently, it made headlines for its massive value gains and losses -- that is what most investors care about, right? However, another reason it has been in the news as of late is due to the problems it is causing in family law circles in Ohio and elsewhere.

According to a family law attorney, Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are causing quite a few problems in divorce cases. It is believed that numerous individuals are turning to cryptocurrency as a way to hide assets. While keeping marital assets from the divorce process is wrong, virtual currency is making it fairly easy to do.

The problem with Bitcoin is two-fold. First, it can be difficult to assign a fair value to, as its value changes on a daily basis. So, even if it is put on the table for property division, figuring out how to fairly divide it can be a challenge. Second, if it is an asset that is not accounted for, locating it can be difficult. Taking cryptocurrency offline and offshore makes it hard to track down.

Dealing with cryptocurrency in divorce is still a relatively new thing. Those in family law circles are still trying to figure out the best way to address the problems it may cause. Ohio residents who are going through the divorce process and have Bitcoin or any other type of virtual currency to worry about can seek help from an experienced attorney and financial experts in order to locate and value an asset so that it can be fairly divided.

Source: Bloomberg, "Bitcoin Bitterness Starts to Make Messy Divorces Even Worse", Hannah George, Feb. 26, 2018

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