Should I Include Cryptocurrency in My Divorce Settlement?

Author:
Lorraine Harvey
Partner, Family Law
Date:
25/05/2021

Divorcees are increasingly referring to their former partner having cryptocurrency, but often people don’t know exactly what it is. 

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that can be used to buy goods and services and can be traded online like any other investments. A popular example is Bitcoin.

In any divorce, both you and your former partner must disclose all of your assets, including your digital assets, so cryptocurrencies need to be disclosed too.

How Will Cryptocurrency Affect My Financial Settlement?

If your former partner uses cryptocurrency, you might be entitled to some of its value or you might be able to offset it for another asset.

For example, if you don’t use cryptocurrency but you know your former partner does, then you could suggest they keep the total value of their cryptocurrency but you will take another asset. Or you could take a portion of the cryptocurrency yourself or its equivalent value.

What if My Former Partner is Hiding Cryptocurrency?

If you think your former partner is hiding their cryptocurrency away then you should get legal advice to find out what you can do depending on your situation.

One of the challenges with this type of asset is that it can quickly change hands and the value can go up or down very quickly. Because it has no physical element and there’s no bricks and mortar bank for cryptocurrency, it can be hard to prove that someone uses it.

Proving that your former partner has cryptocurrency will depend on if you have evidence or not.

If You Have Evidence

If you have evidence that your former partner is transferring cryptocurrency to hide assets, you could get an injunction from the Court to freeze their assets. Evidence could include emails or bank statements showing the transfer of cryptocurrency.

A freezing order from the Court will stop them from transferring and exchanging any cryptocurrency, as well as spending or selling any other assets until you come to an agreement between the two of you.

If You Don’t Have Evidence

If you don’t have any hard proof that your former partner is transferring cryptocurrency but there is enough evidence to convince the Court, such as anecdotal evidence of your former partner using the currency before you separated, the Court might “add back” the cryptocurrency into your financial settlement. 

And if your former partner tried to hide or dissipate assets, it could mean that they get a smaller proportion of the overall matrimonial assets if the Court has to intervene.

Get Legal Advice

If you think you’re going to struggle to convince the Court that your former partner is hiding assets, getting legal help could make all the difference.

Our Divorce Solicitors often work with Forensic Experts to trace assets that you think your former partner is hiding away. We have proved experience of recovering assets that divorcees were keeping overseas or just keeping quiet about in the hopes to keep it to themselves.

Getting legal advice early on can also help you resolve your issues outside of Court to save you extra costs and time of Court applications and give you the better chance of having an amicable divorce.

For initial legal advice call our Family Law and Divorce Solicitors

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