The digital currency bitcoin has been around for awhile. However, the cryptocurrency that is held anonymously -- and still a mystery to many -- has gained significant media attention recently. Its value rose over a whopping 1,300 percent last year. The current price of just one bitcoin is over $15,000.
People attempting to hide assets from their spouses preceding and during their divorces have turned to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies because they can be more difficult to find, even by experienced forensic accountants, than offshore accounts and other assets.
Now, some people who consider themselves part of a much broader men's rights movement are encouraging divorcing men to convert their assets into bitcoin to hide them from their spouses. This advice is popping up on bitcoin online forums, which are followed almost exclusively by men.
However, it's not just random, angry men in unhappy marriages advocating this action. Even legitimate cryptocurrency publications have published articles discussing how to use bitcoin to keep your assets in a divorce.
Family law attorneys aren't unfamiliar with this method of hiding assets. One attorney admits, "The way it's structured, it's very easy to conceal." An article in one law journal stated, "Bitcoin's anonymity, combined with its capability for quick bitcoin transfers between wallets, makes hiding marital assets easier for spouses."
As bitcoin gains notoriety, however, and becomes a more likely source of hidden assets, attorneys are predicting that spouses may put their money in some of the lesser-known cryptocurrencies. One lawyer describes keeping up with all of these hiding places as "like playing whack-a-mole."
If you believe that your spouse may be concealing assets that you have a right to split or that can be used to pay the spousal and child support you're seeking, inform your family law attorney. There are professionals such as forensic accountants that can help find "hidden" assets so that you have a full and accurate picture of your spouse's financial worth.
Source: The Daily Beast, "Men’s Rights Activists: Use Bitcoin to Hide Money From Your Future Ex-Wife," Kelly Weill, Dec. 14, 2017