Lavin & Parisi, Attorneys at Law

Bitcoin the next step for hiding marital assets?

Photo of Karen Lavin


As evidence by teaching plans for toddlers and young students that focus on sharing, humans may naturally want to keep their things to themselves. . And even after all the time and training at a young age, sharing does not always come naturally to some people, especially during a divorce. When that happens, these individuals may try to avoid a fair asset division by hiding assets such as real estate and other marital property.

Illinoisans looking to hide assets may have a new means by which to do so with digital currencies like Bitcoin. Bitcoin offers several advantages that have made it increasingly popular with people engaging in improper behavior. First, it affords its owner relative anonymity. Second, the currency is also more difficult to link to an individual than bank accounts and stock certificates. And, third, the currency can be moved quickly and almost unanimously. Add these advantages together and digital currency can be an attractive alternative to honestly reporting a person's real assets.

Given the propensity of people not to share, and the increased use of digital currency during divorces, those going through a divorce need to be prepared. Preparation starts early: Illinoisans need to investigate their financial situation. Without that information, it can be hard to know if a spouse might be hiding assets. Individuals may also want to file motions to request that the court order ex-partners to disclose his or her use of digital banking services like Bitcoin.

For help with uncovering hidden assets, and resolving the many other issues that come up during a divorce, Illinois residents may benefit from discussing their case with an experienced family-law attorney.

Source: CNBC, "Bitcoin could be used to hide assets in divorces, warn lawyers," Jane Croft, June 3, 2014

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