Cryptocurrency, hidden assets and divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2023 | Divorce, High Net Worth Divorce |

When a New Jersey married couple divorces, the spouses must disclose all their assets and debts and then divide the marital property. The parties are legally required to disclose all their property so that they can begin the process of dividing the marital property fairly under state law. Unfortunately, some individuals are not truthful at this point in the process, failing to disclose certain assets with the hopes that they will be able to keep more of their wealth after the divorce.

The issue of hidden assets has been a problem in many divorce proceedings for a long time, but the rise of digital assets has added a new wrinkle. The technology of cryptocurrency can make it easier for dishonest individuals to hide their assets in divorce.

Volatile and largely unregulated

By some accounts, as many as 20% of Americans have taken part in cryptocurrency investing to one extent or another. The phenomenon is particularly common among younger men.

However, the market is extremely volatile, with individual coins routinely doubling their value or losing most of their value overnight. That volatility can be a problem in divorce when the parties are trying to estimate the real-world value of digital assets.

An even greater problem arises when one spouse fails to disclose digital assets during property division. Some types of cryptocurrency are designed with privacy as a top priority, making it very hard to track down records.

Some unscrupulous individuals take advantage of this situation to accumulate assets during marriage without their spouse’s knowledge, and then hide their wealth during divorce. Because cryptocurrency exchanges are largely unregulated, a person who suspects their ex is hiding digital assets can’t always find out more through getting a subpoena.

Instead, they may need to rely on the help of professionals who use forensic accounting techniques to track down hidden assets in the digital realm.