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Bitcoin could complicate high net worth divorce

39394533_S.jpgHiding assets during divorce proceedings is sadly not that uncommon. Missouri couples who are going through a high net worth divorce may understandably feel a strong urge to protect the assets that are most important to them, but some individuals take it too far. Although hidden assets are certainly nothing new, some divorcees are using newer technologies to conceal marital property.

Bitcoin is an unregulated digital currency that provides anonymity to users. It made its debut in 2009 and experienced significant growth over 2017 as many people found its claim of being untraceable appealing. For a soon-to-be ex-spouse who might be trying to hide as many assets as possible, the anonymity and inability to trace make Bitcoin an ideal place to stash money until the divorce is finalized.

This can be scary for those who are worried that their spouse might conceal assets and financial interests. However, finding Bitcoins purchased by an ex might be difficult or even impossible. Instead, it is a good idea to watch out for warning signs that a partner might be trying to hide money. Overpaying taxes, purchasing an excessive number of gift cards or constantly buying and returning items are all indicators that someone is hiding important financial assets from the division process.

Divorce is an emotional time that can unfortunately bring out the worst in some people. Since there are usually significant personal interests on the line in a high net worth divorce, individuals should be certain that they remain vigilant when approaching asset division. Many people in Missouri find that it can be helpful to do so under the guidance of experienced counsel, who may be well-versed in spotting the signs of hidden assets.

Source: Bloomberg BNA, "Bitcoin the New Mattress Full of Cash for Divorce Cheats", David McAfee, Dec. 28, 2017

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