The use of Bitcoin has grown in popularity in Florida and across the rest of the United States in recent years. Many have been drawn to exchange their cash for this global digital currency because of the lack of government oversight. The emergence of Bitcoin has made things more difficult for government agencies and divorce attorneys alike who are seeking to uncover a person’s potential hidden assets.
A study recently published by the Global Blockchain Business Council shows that as many as five percent of Americans may have invested in cryptocurrencies in recent years. Most who have bought Bitcoin are men who are under 30-years-old. Interestingly, this is around the same average age Americans are when they get divorced for their first time.
When couples decide to divorce, they typically have to fill out financial disclosures listing their assets such as bank and investment accounts. If they fail to do so, then they risk being arrested for contempt of court. While this is supposed to deter spouses from being dishonest, many fail to disclose their Bitcoin in hopes that they won’t get caught.
Even if a divorcing spouse in Fort Myers suspects that their ex has invested in Bitcoin, there’s no real paper trail to track it down. Bitcoin is often assigned to a nameless account number and there’s no central banking authority from which to request statements.
The only potential way of tracking down cryptocurrencies is for a forensic computer expert to examine their electronic device. Data may be encrypted and they may need a search warrant to do this.
It can really hurt your divorce settlement if your ex has invested significant assets in Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrencies are known to fluctuate in value quite a bit. While your ex may have invested very little initially, its value may have grown significantly in a few short years. If left undiscovered, you may be robbed of significant sums of money that you would have otherwise been entitled to.
If there’s one thing that Florida spouses should know about dividing up assets in a divorce, it’s that there are both fees and tax penalties that you may incur by agreeing to accept certain types of property including money contained in retirement or investment accounts. A high asset divorce attorney can help you understand all aspects involved in splitting them up and what your options are.