Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency in Divorce Cases

By Michael DiFalco

Cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly popular, making it more common in divorces. However, because cryptocurrency is still relatively new and unknown to many, it can add a layer of complication to a divorce case.

If either spouse is involved with cryptocurrency, it is essential to have a New York divorce lawyer that understands how it works and what it means for your divorce settlement. 

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency (or “crypto”) is a digital form of currency based on blockchain technology. This type of currency is encrypted and decentralized, with no central authority overseeing it and determining its value. Instead, value is based on the current market.

Many invest in crypto as they would in other stocks or assets. Cryptocurrency can be used to make purchases, but many users invest in crypto for its potential growth in value. 

There are many different types of cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum. Every type of crypto has its own price and characteristics.

Looking for Hidden Cryptocurrency in a Divorce Case

Crypto can make it easy for individuals to hide money. Because of this, it is becoming more common for divorcing spouses to hide money using cryptocurrency. In most cases, it is imperative to employ certain methods to help uncover any cryptocurrency either party might be keeping secret.

Cryptocurrency is handled like any other asset, so parties with crypto should disclose it during the divorce process. Still, many spouses attempt to leave it out of their divorce.

If you suspect your spouse has invested in cryptocurrency, your divorce attorney can hire a forensic accountant. Forensic accountants use their knowledge and skills to thoroughly investigate a person’s finances and help locate hidden assets. It’s imperative, however, to hire a forensic accountant who is well-versed in cryptocurrency, as it can be challenging to find this type of asset.

Hiding assets during a divorce is illegal, and it can be frustrating to deal with a lying spouse. A divorce attorney has the tools and resources needed to uncover the truth and get you closer to finalizing your divorce. 

Is cryptocurrency marital property?

New York is an equitable division state, meaning courts will distribute assets in a manner that is fair for both parties. To decipher what property must be distributed, the court must distinguish between separate property and marital property. 

Separate property is property owned by a spouse before they entered into the marriage. Marital property is all property the spouses acquired during the marriage. 

Because cryptocurrency is like any other asset, it can be either separate property or marital property. If you or your spouse acquired the crypto or received it as a gift or as part of an inheritance before the marriage, it will likely be deemed separate property. But if you or your spouse acquired cryptocurrency while married, it is marital property.

If the cryptocurrency is marital property, the court will distribute it between the spouses.

Our New York Divorce Attorneys Can Help You

If your divorce involves cryptocurrency, or you suspect your spouse is hiding money using crypto, a skilled divorce attorney in New York can assist you.

We understand crypto on a deeper level than the headlines over the past couple of years. We have actually dealt with cases involving cryptocurrency so we have a real-world perspective of how to address these issues in a productive and effective manner.

At Aiello & DiFalco LLP we focus our practice exclusively on family law. We assist clients in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties as well as in New York City. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling every aspect of a divorce case and work diligently to get our clients the most favorable result. 

We understand every case is unique, so we tailor our approach to serve every client’s individual needs and goals. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our qualified divorce lawyers.

About the Author
I am a partner at Aiello & DiFalco LLP, and my priority for my clients is to guide them through an arduous court case to provide them with the opportunity to write the next chapter in their life. I tailor my approach to each client’s priorities and positions, and to the extent that matters can be predicted, I will always provide a realistic perspective of how the law could be applied to the particular facts and circumstances of a case. Since I thrive on helping people and solving problems, I bring an optimistic and positive approach to practicing in a very difficult area of law. With more than a decade of experience handling hundreds of cases, I have the ability to get results on the issues my clients view as priorities. When cases or certain issues cannot be settled, I have a solid record of success at trials, hearings, and on appeals. Feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation, I am always available to help.