Cryptocurrency assets present challenges in divorce

Some California spouses who are going through a divorce may attempt to hide cryptocurrency assets. This is a growing issue as cryptocurrency becomes more popular. However, it is still far enough out of the mainstream that few people have experience dealing with it as an asset in divorces. Even when a partner is forthcoming about cryptocurrency assets, another problem that could arise is getting an accurate valuation. This is because cryptocurrency value can fluctuate a great deal.

One financial professional says that he identified a $100,000 cryptocurrency investment that a husband tried to hide by studying bank statements. However, it can be much more difficult to find cryptocurrency that is not bought on an exchange. If it is directly purchased and moved offline, an auditor might not find it at all.

Cryptocurrency assets may need to go through a valuation as close to the time of property division as possible. Within a span of 18 months, one British lawyer reported a fluctuation of cryptocurrency assets that were bought for £80,000, went as high as £1 million, and then went back down to £600,000. Some of the difficulties in dealing with cryptocurrency are not unlike those that may arise in the case of art collections.

Like cryptocurrency, valuations for art may differ markedly, but this is because art can be so difficult to appraise accurately. In some cases, two different appraisers could arrive at very different numbers. Reaching a point where couples can agree on property division may be expensive and time-consuming. Before going into divorce negotiations, partners might want to think about what kind of financial security they need after separating and what they can and cannot compromise on. This might result in negotiations moving along more efficiently.

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