Florida Divorces and Cryptocurrency
Asset distribution is one of the most contested matters in many divorces. Spouses are worried about the other one getting more than they deserve, or even worse, that their spouse is hiding assets from them. Previously, spouses mainly worried about off-shore accounts or a spouse who manipulated the numbers of existing assets. Today, the investment landscape has changed and that means there is a more complex topic to contend with in asset distribution — cryptocurrency.
What is Cryptocurrency?
If you aren’t familiar with the term, it may not even be on your radar in a pending divorce case. Essentially, cryptocurrency is a virtual form of currency. Bitcoin is a name you might recognize from the news, and it is credited as the first form of cryptocurrency. The Japanese man who created it never intended to invent a new currency; he was developing a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. One down side to cryptocurrency is that once a transaction is made, there is no way to reverse it. If you got scammed, too bad. There are no real-world identities attached to these accounts, which means tracking down the identity of an owner is virtually impossible. Because it works around the globe, cryptocurrency can be sent halfway around the world in seconds.
Cryptocurrency has now grown into a massive part of the investment industry, but the laws aren’t necessarily moving at the same rate of speed. Bitcoin is only one of the cryptocurrencies on the market today, and that makes tracking down assets even more difficult.
Marital Property in Florida
When it comes to divorce, Florida is different from many others in that it is not a community property state. Florida’s law rests on equitable distribution, which means the assets are split fairly and equitably, not necessarily 50/50 over everything. There are situations where non-marital property also becomes marital property if it was utilized and enhanced during the marriage. When a court looks to distribute assets during a divorce, they factor in a variety of elements like the individual contributions to the marriage, economic circumstances, how long you were married, and whether one party intentionally wasted, destroyed, or ran through assets within two years prior to the dissolution of marriage petition.
Cryptocurrencies and Divorce
Factoring cryptocurrency in the mix of asset distribution is challenging, especially in cases where there is a chance one spouse is hiding money. This is where the use of a forensic accountant can come into play as tech specialists are trained to identify hidden assets and they are learning all the ways people are hiding assets in cryptocurrency. And, once you find evidence of cryptocurrency, how is it divided?
Dividing up the value of cryptocurrency is often where the biggest challenge is. There is confusion on whether it should be divided based on the current market price or the original price paid. And, how do you accurately calculate future gains and their division?
Retaining a Skilled Florida Divorce Attorney
If you’re preparing for a divorce involving cryptocurrency or have a complex asset portfolio to begin with, you need an experienced Boca Raton divorce attorney who can help ensure your assets and rights are protected during your divorce. Contact the Law Offices of Schwartz | White at 561.391.9943 to schedule a consultation.