Just like the changes that the internet has brought in which emails have replaced traditional communication methods, technology has made it possible for monetary transactions to be done without a bank or a government entity. This has created a means of hiding assets in a high\-asset divorce. However, such transactions are traceable and could adversely affect the manner in which the British Columbia court treats a deceiving spouse in a contested divorce.
Bitcoin is a virtual currency that its inventor calls a cryptocurrency, and it allows peer-to-peer transfers without third parties. Those who are in highly contentious divorces might think that Bitcoin transactions are anonymous. However, each registered user is assigned a wallet address where his or her Bitcoin funds are stored. This address consists of a number string by which forensic investigators can trace and identify the wallet owner.
During a forensic investigation, any monetary transfers that are substantial will be questioned. If it is determined that those transfers were for purchases of Bitcoin — or other cryptocurrencies such as Zcash or Monero — the court may see it as dissipating of marital assets. That person will likely not receive an equitable share of the property in the asset division process based on previous examples of family law cases.
British Columbia residents who suspect a soon-to-be former spouse of using devious ways to hide funds in a high-asset divorce may find comfort in knowing that an experienced divorce lawyer will likely have access to forensic specialists who can trace funds that are concealed. A seasoned Laughlin Law Divorce Lawyer can also provide support and guidance with other divorce-related issues. These can include the division of other marital property and matters related to child custody, child support, spousal support and more.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Hiding Assets with Bitcoin in Divorce“, David Centeno, Feb. 23, 2017
Laughlin & Company Lawyers Mediators
2755 Lougheed Hwy #710, Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 5Y9