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Property division is made more difficult with cryptocurrency

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2021 | Property Division |

In a Michigan divorce, property division often arises as a topic for dispute. In the past, that has meant people were deciding how to split financial accounts, real estate, automobiles, collectibles, a business and more. While these are still part of a great many cases, other properties are becoming popular and may be part of a disagreement in a family law case. Specifically, more and more people are investing in cryptocurrency. Since this type of investment is so new and can be difficult to understand, it is becoming a complex topic in divorces. As with other property disputes, having professional advice is imperative to ensure there is a fair accounting and division.

Understanding crypto and how to account for it

The news, financial programs and online sources are constantly discussing cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Increasingly, people are investing in these products with some putting significant amounts of money in them. A survey from a cryptocurrency exchange says that as many as 14% of the population in the United States owns it in some form. That comes to more than 21 million people. Obviously, when there is a divorce, cryptocurrency will be part of the property assessment.

A major challenge with it is that one spouse might not even be aware that the other invested in it and it is difficult to find it. For cases in which there is confusion or questioning as to how much crypto the person owns, the evidence must be scrutinized. That might include looking at computer hard drives, financial statements, credit card statements, tax returns and online wallets. Still, it can be difficult to discern exactly how much crypto is owned. Legal maneuvers such as a subpoena on cryptocurrency exchanges might be needed. Valuing the cryptocurrency and checking to see if it is owed even if there are denials are also crucial with this type of investment.

Professional assistance can be essential with property division of cryptocurrency

It is easier to value properties like bank accounts and real estate that are known and understood as part of property division. Because cryptocurrency is still relatively new, is constantly being analyzed and jumps up and down in value without warning, people who are divorcing should be aware of it and take the necessary steps to divide it fairly. For this or any other aspect of a family law case, having experienced guidance may help to find these investments and ensure they are split as part of the case.