Your Guide Through Challenging Times

Tech-savvy spouse hiding assets with crypto? Not so fast

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2021 | Property Division |

These days, it seems like the finance and technology worlds are moving faster than ever. People with specialized engineering and computer knowledge seem to have the edge.

Do emerging technologies, such as blockchain, give your technologically-savvy spouse an edge in divorce? Is it really that easy to hide assets?

Can you hide assets with crypto?

Cryptocurrency networks are often anonymous, but that does not mean that everything associated with them is untraceable. In other words, money does not just appear and disappear at random. Furthermore, if your spouse made or invested money using cryptocurrency, it is likely that there is a publicly available ledger documenting exactly where those funds moved.

That is not to say it would be easy to track down. A detailed investigation into hidden assets might be necessary.

Why is it hard to track cryptocurrency?

One reason you cannot always easily track down and divide crypto in a divorce is that these assets could be self-custodial: Your spouse could hold value in a private, unregulated manner. In other words, you cannot subpoena bank records if there is no bank.

Another reason is that there are various privacy tools that your spouse could use with the intent of laundering or hiding the money. However, the good news is that these money laundering services are becoming less common and easier for law-enforcement professionals to focus on.

Simply knowing exactly what to look for could also help you track down assets your spouse is attempting to hide. If you believe you are less financially or technologically adept than your soon-to-be-ex, keep in mind that you probably do not have to match the entirety of that engineering, accounting and computing prowess.

It might surprise you to learn that assets tend to vanish once couples begin the divorce process. It sometimes takes a great deal of effort to track them down at this point, which often puts the first mover at a considerable advantage.