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How is Cryptocurrency Handled in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Illinois Divorce

St. Charles IL divorce attorneyOne of the most consequential aspects of the divorce process is the division of property and debts. In complex divorce cases involving high-value or difficult-to-value assets, property division is also often one of the most complicated parts of the divorce. Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Binance Coin, or Dogecoin must be addressed along with all other forms of property. However, valuing cryptocurrency and understanding how it should be divided is often a major challenge. If you or your spouse own Bitcoin or other forms of cryptocurrency, make sure you understand how this unique asset will be handled during your divorce.

Virtual Currency in an Illinois Divorce

Cryptocurrency is difficult to understand because it is completely unlike traditional forms of currency. This digital asset also exists outside of the government’s control. Furthermore, the value of cryptocurrency fluctuates dramatically.

In addition to valuing the cryptocurrency, the spouses will need to determine who has a right to a portion of the cryptocurrency’s value. Only marital property, or property acquired during the marriage, is subject to division. Determining how much of the cryptocurrency’s value is marital property and how much is non-marital property can be a massive hurdle.

Furthermore, Illinois divorce cases are subject to a legal theory called “equitable distribution.” If couples cannot reach an agreement on property division, the court must divide property equitably or fairly based on a number of different factors. The allocation of assets is not always 50/50.

Cryptocurrency is Sometimes Used to Hide Assets in a Divorce

Divorcing spouses are required to fully disclose their assets and debts during a divorce. However, spouses who do not want to share their wealth may use several tactics to hide assets or undervalue assets. Cryptocurrency will not show up on a spouse’s bank account balance. However, unusually large purchases, sudden lifestyle changes, or secrecy surrounding finances or computers may all be signs that a spouse owns undisclosed assets in the form of cryptocurrency.

If you suspect that your spouse will lie about finances or hide digital assets in your divorce case, a skilled attorney can help you uncover the hidden assets and pursue the divorce settlement you deserve. Your attorney may work with forensic accountants or other financial experts to find clues of cryptocurrency or other undisclosed assets.

Contact a Geneva Divorce Lawyer

If you are getting married and you or your spouse own cryptocurrency, contact an experienced divorce lawyer to discuss how this asset may be addressed in your divorce case. The St. Charles divorce attorneys at Weiler & Lengle P.C. have extensive experience in high-income and complex asset divorce cases. Call us at 630-382-8050 for a confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/01/divorcing-spouses-are-using-cryptocurrency-to-hide-money-how-experts-find-it.html

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cryptocurrency.asp

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