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What happens to cryptocurrency in divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2021 | Divorce

Arizona divorces become more complicated the more assets you have. While there are decades-old guidelines as far as what happens to joint bank accounts and investments, there’s not really a good precedent for what happens to cryptocurrencies in a divorce.

Cryptocurrency is rising in popularity in part because of the fact there’s a slim paper trail. Despite its newness, cryptocurrency is still a financial asset that can grow or shrink in value when converted to U.S. dollars.

It’s considered an investment as well as actual money that can be spent at certain vendors. Since it’s definitely a form of financial asset, it should be considered in a divorce.

The challenges of including cryptocurrency in divorce

There’s not a lot of transaction evidence when it comes to cryptocurrency. It can be complicated to figure out who initiated crypto transfers or transactions, but it’s not impossible.

One of the easiest ways to track down cryptocurrency accounts and values is to ask for all platforms that the spouses are using to track cryptocurrency accounts. Cryptocurrency in and of itself works a lot like online bank accounts: You have a certain amount of cryptocurrency in the bank account at any given time. You can either let this sit and consider it an investment, or you can spend it like money.

What sets crypto apart from other types of currency is that it gains and loses value rather quickly. You also have to draw from U.S. bank accounts in order to invest or purchase crypto.

How to include crypto in divorce

Lawyers should ask both parties to sign over the transaction records for any crypto platform that the spouses use to buy, trade, sell or hold cryptocurrencies. These records should be able to pinpoint exactly how much U.S. dollars have been invested so far as well as what account they came from.

The records can also tell you the current amount of crypto each party has and the value of all those assets. Both spouses’ lawyers may work from there to decide the best way to split these assets.

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