Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and other cryptocurrencies have taken over the media. In short, cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography or blockchain technology for security.
People can use these cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services or investments. They typically can be traded for an amount in US dollars.
When looking over bank statements and financial records the past couple of years in California divorce cases, we have noticed a couple of keywords popping up regarding cryptocurrency, which signals red flags.
One term is “coinbase.” For example, Coinbase is a digital exchange and wallet where cryptocurrency can be stored, purchased, sold, and received. Think of a coinbase like an online bank for cryptocurrencies.
If coinbase pops up in any financial records, you will request and subpoena all records from the other parties’ coinbase accounts. This is because the other party may be storing and failing to disclose cryptocurrency in their coinbase account to avoid giving you your fair share upon divorce. Why is this important?
As of December 29, 2017, Bitcoin alone is worth over $14,500 per bitcoin. Thus, the other party may be hiding tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars from you.
Also, keep in mind that parties can receive money for work provided or goods sold in the form of cryptocurrency. So, instead of receiving a check for a job the other provides, they may receive a bitcoin payment that businesses will not trace back to their bank account.
Finding this cryptocurrency can show a spouse’s actual amount, leading to a difference in a child or spousal support.
Most attorneys will not request any documents related to cryptocurrencies. Thus, it is essential to discuss with your counsel your potential concerns concerning cryptocurrencies and your divorce case, as it may lead to a significant difference in your financial settlement or support payments.
If you have a question in regard to Cryptocurrency or divorce case, feel free to contact our office at (805) 422-7966.