Hiding of marital assets in with Bitcoin

During a divorce, especially a high-asset divorce, it is very important to identify and locate all of the marital assets. This is because modifications to property division in a divorce, in Missouri and virtually every state are very difficult to obtain.

Unlike an order for child custody, child support or spousal support, which can be modified with a showing of a significant or substantial change in the circumstance of the parties, to modify the division of marital assets typically requires a showing of actual fraud, which may be difficult and expensive to prove.

A divorce that involves parties with significant incomes or who own and operate their own business or professional practice will result in a complex asset division, and there will be increased opportunities for hiding assets. This may force the other party to obtain additional professional assistance to track those assets or income, such as a forensic accountant.

With the development of the Bitcoin, this problem will only increase. While parties to a divorce required to disclose all of their assets, a party interested in this type of deception may be willing to risk court sanctions.

Bitcoins are a digital currency that would not show up on standard banking or government transaction records and may demand a fair amount of investigation to discover and track.

Because of their novelty, many parties and courts may be unaware of the potential, and may not specifically list them on disclosure orders. If your spouse has a business and it accepts payment for services in Bitcoin, it may be a warning that you and your attorney will need to employ increased diligence in locating all of your marital assets.

Source: Daily Finance, “Bitcoin: The New, High-Tech Way to Hide Assets in a Divorce,” Robert Pagliarini, June 16th 2014

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