The dramatic rise of cryptocurrency has led to some spouses hiding those digital assets during divorce settlements, and tracking down the funds isn’t easy, experts say.
More than 20 million Americans may own cryptocurrency, industry groups say, and digital currency market values grew to a record $2 trillion in April. These spikes may be enticing more spouses in divorce proceedings or those thinking about divorce to conceal their stash, experts say.
“I’m sure it’s been an issue the whole time,” says Sandra Radna, a divorce attorney based on Long Island, New York. “The level of awareness for divorce attorneys is very recent.”
Here’s how experts are tracking down a spouse’s hidden funds.
“The hardest part for attorneys is first to determine whether there was an investment,” says Radna. “And then, once you have that suspicion, to go after it.”
While some spouses in a divorce know about cryptocurrency from past conversations, others may suspect hidden funds based on their spouse’s lifestyle changes, she said.
For example, their spouse may suddenly have a bunch of extra money or they may make a large purchase, such as an expensive new car.
If a spouse thinks there may be significant amounts of hidden cryptocurrency, an attorney may file a subpoena, or court order, to