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Digital currencies: the new way to hide assets in divorce?

By 20. May 2016 No Comments

Divorce couples often try to hide money from each other. At the beginning of the divorce process both spouses are required to submit a financial overview which should include all of their income, liabilities and assets. In two of three divorces we are talking about hidden assets. There are a lot of ongoing discussions, that spouses could use cryptocurrencies to hide wealth by transferring the currency between online wallets to areas outside of legal jurisdiction or to friends.

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies, created and held electronically. No bank controls the value of digital currencies, as its value is generated via computers. It is transparent, anonymous and cost efficient. Liquid money which could be converted into digital currency like #Bitcoin for example would leave behind an initial fingerprint.
However, it makes hiding assets much easier, as Bitcoins anonymously transferred out of the court’s jurisdiction and spouse’s control. Lawyers have to get very creative to prove that there is money being hidden. The good news is that digital currencies are not entirely untraceable, but they are harder to be followed than on a paper trail. #Blockchain explorers offer services that allow to identify suspicious transactions that might indicate money is being hidden; in this case a forensic accountant might help to find this money. If someone has doubts about the financial input provided by the spouse, ask for the involvement of a forensic accountant.

Overall it is not worth the risk to chance itWe recommend for both parties to be open and honest with their financial disclosures. As well in order to keep the legal and research costs low and to avoid legal implications.

Brigitte Kaps, CEO

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