Digital currency or “cryptocurrency” has skyrocketed in popularity in the last few years. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Cardano, Ethereum, and Tether rely on cryptography to secure and verify transactions. The currency is not regulated by the government or tied to any bank. Unfortunately, these features make cryptocurrency a popular choice for spouses who wish to hide assets in a divorce.
Financial Fraud in an Illinois Divorce
Nearly every part of a divorce case is affected by finances – especially in a high net worth divorce. Even if spouses reach an out-of-court property division settlement, the agreement they come to is dependent on each spouse’s income, assets, and liabilities. Child support and spousal support are also calculated using each spouse’s financial circumstances. A spouse who wishes to sway the divorce outcome in his or her favor may underreport assets or “hide” assets by transferring the assets to another party. Because cryptocurrency does not show up on a bank statement, it is increasingly used to conceal wealth in divorce cases.
Signs that Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets
Any divorce settlement or judgment should be based on accurate financial information. If you suspect that your spouse will lie about finances in your divorce, contact a skilled divorce lawyer right away. Your lawyer can help you find clues of financial deception and reveal hidden assets.
Some signs that a spouse is using cryptocurrency to hide assets include:
- Enjoying a lavish lifestyle despite claiming financial hardship
- Buying expensive items such as jewelry or vehicles without a proportionate increase in income
- Refusing to let you have access to laptops, computers, and other electronics
- Getting upset when you try to discuss financial issues
- Hiding tax returns and other financial paperwork
Finding Secret Digital Currency and Other Hidden Assets
An experienced divorce attorney may use a variety of tools to find hidden assets, including subpoenas, depositions, requests for documents, and requests for admissions. Many divorce lawyers also work with specially skilled accountants called forensic accountants to reveal hidden assets. Tax returns, loan documents, and electronic devices may contain clues that a spouse owns undisclosed cryptocurrency.
Contact a Barrington Divorce Lawyer
Spouses are required to disclose all of their assets in a divorce. However, some spouses try to manipulate the divorce by hiding wealth. Digital currencies like Bitcoin are increasingly used for this purpose.
If you are getting divorced and you suspect that your spouse will hide assets, contact experienced Palatine divorce lawyer Nicholas W. Richardson for help. Call the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. at 847.873.6741 for a free, confidential consultation.