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Bitcoin presents new challenge for divorcing couples

It is not uncommon for people in Indiana and throughout the country to own Bitcoin and other digital coins. However, owning them can create problems when a couple chooses to get a divorce. This is because it can be hard to determine the value of a coin as markets can fluctuate wildly in a short period of time. It can also be difficult to determine where digital currency is being held or how much a person owns.

An individual can choose to put a copy of a digital wallet on a USB drive, which makes it harder to trace. If this happens, an investigation can be done to determine when transactions took place, but the investigation may cost more than the currency is worth. Therefore, a spouse will have to hope that the coins were purchased or traded online where the transactions are easier to track.

Since Bitcoin and similar coins are not held in a centralized location, a court may be powerless to freeze the asset. Furthermore, since the currency is relatively new, there is little case law to guide a judge when making a ruling in a divorce matter. However, it may be possible for a court to impute a value if it is believed that a person is hiding assets through the use of digital currency.

In a case involving complex property division issues, it may be worthwhile for an individual to hire an attorney. An attorney might retain outside professionals to go through computers or otherwise find hidden assets. This may help a person obtain his or her fair share of marital property.

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