According to state law, divorce lawyers in community property states like Texas assist their clients in accounting for and dispersing all marital property.
Dividing up physical property and even most financial assets are accessible; however, now that cryptocurrency has entered the picture, divorces are getting more complicated.
Divorce attorneys realize that because of bitcoin’s very definition of being a digital-only asset, splitting it up isn’t the problem - finding it is!
Cryptocurrency An Issue In A Growing Number of Divorces
Though it is an idea that has only gained traction in recent years, there are estimated to be as many as 22 million Americans invested in cryptocurrency in one form or another.
As the popularity of bitcoin continues to grow, divorce lawyers are increasingly finding it becoming an issue in the divorce cases they oversee.
The reason is that bitcoin is not just easy to purchase; it is also easy to hide from spouses.
Due to the dramatic increase in its value over recent years, divorce attorneys now find it has become a cause for much contention between divorcing spouses.
Crypto Considered Community Marital Property
Divorce lawyers gaining the most experience dealing with the crypto issue in their cases can easily see that the problem lies in the fact that previously, not many people took bitcoin seriously, yet now those who own it are holding small fortunes in some cases.
Combined with the fact that bitcoin, which is accepted as a legal currency in Texas, is considered part of a couple’s marital wealth and subject to the state’s community property laws, suddenly, attorneys see it becoming a hot point of dispute between them many spouses.
Commonly, many do not even know their spouse invested in cryptocurrency and yet are still legally entitled; to a portion of the collected cryptocurrency.
Because crypto is managed in virtual wallets instead of banks, stock brokerages, or other regulated ways, the ability to locate, value, and divide it is becoming a significant issue in many divorces these days.
Hiding Crypto Is Easy - Finding It Is the Challenge
According to many divorce lawyers, the most significant difficulty in dealing with cryptocurrencies during divorces is that there are not always ways to prove that someone owns it without extensive digging.
Beyond an initial purchase transaction from a bank account, cryptocurrency initially loaded into one virtual wallet can be easily moved to other wallets without a trace.
It can be hidden virtually or on personal devices, and when it is mined as opposed to being purchased, it can be even more challenging to locate.
This non-traceability is what makes it a preferred currency for hiding assets.
In cases where the possibility exists that a spouse could be hiding crypto, divorce attorneys must frequently resort to enlisting the aid of forensic accountants and court orders to help.
When there is no suspicion that assets might be hidden and no reason to consider the ownership of bitcoin, some spouses can even get away without splitting off their ex's fair share.
On top of those issues, valuation is yet another concern, as the values rise and fall within minutes on any given day.
Being just as if not more volatile as stocks, determining value once a wallet is found can create other disputes and require additional expert assistance.
Cryptocurrency Issues Needs An Experienced Divorce Attorney
The popularity of cryptocurrency is on the rise, and with it, divorce lawyers are seeing an increase in disputes over it.
It has even focused on some very prominent divorce cases in recent years.
Bitcoin and other types of crypto are legal currencies in Texas and are subject to marital property division just like any other currency.
Anyone who has reason to believe their spouse owns or could be hiding any cryptocurrency should speak with a current divorce attorney on this topic of growing importance and can offer the solutions required to get to the bottom of that crypto wallet!
The law firm of Schreier & Housewirth has been helping their clients deal with the many issues presented when divorcing for 35 years and is qualified to handle any problems that arise.
The insight of board-certified family attorneys at Schreier & Housewirth is invaluable when facing any family law issue – call them today at (817) 753-8565 for help!