Cryptocurrency & Divorce in Ohio

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As technology improves, there are more opportunities for contention in divorce. One of these areas is cryptocurrency. The prevalence of cryptocurrency in the world is increasing, meaning more and more people are starting to buy this commodity. Unfortunately, the ownership of cryptocurrency can make asset division in a divorce more complicated. If you or your spouse own cryptocurrency, it could benefit you to work with a divorce attorney in Ohio who has knowledge in the division of complex assets. 

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency has been around for just over a decade. The first cryptocurrency system, Bitcoin, was invented in 2008 with the goal of fixing problems brought by traditional currency methods including being more secure and un-hackable. More specifically, cryptocurrencies are a type of digital currency in the form of code. Its units are based on an algorithm written by the cryptocurrency creator, and these units are secured by cryptography. Conceptually, people tend to gravitate towards cryptocurrency because it is not tied to any government or third-party bank system and can be transferred without the influence of those systems, thus avoiding regulation and fees. 

What Makes Cryptocurrency Complex in Divorce?

When cryptocurrency is an asset in a divorce, it can be problematic. This is because the code, or the blockchain, is impossible to trace back to a specific owner without access to a private key. This key is a type of password that allows the owner to use, spend, or trade their blockchain units. In the case that the key is lost or unknown, access to the currency is impossible. 

In divorce, this is complex because it makes the division of assets difficult. There is no way to prove that one spouse has possession of any form of cryptocurrency since there is no financial institution to receive this information from. Retaining this information, specifically the keys for the blockchain, may require a subpoena.

How to Divide Cryptocurrency During a Divorce

If your spouse is attempting to hide the value of their cryptocurrency, you may have to go through a legal process to have the value shared with you. This would happen in the form of a subpoena, but these are often difficult to obtain. When the value of their cryptocurrency holding is disclosed to you, the process becomes simpler. 

In a divorce, assets acquired while involved in a marriage are considered marital property which must be split equitably. This means that the value of your or your spouse’s cryptocurrency may be subjected to division. The value of the cryptocurrency in divorce is typically based on its value on the day that a divorce is filed, but some cases may use the value at the time of withdrawal. Options including cash-out of the currency or transferring half its value to the other partner may be considered. 

Cryptocurrency is Confusing: Hire an Attorney to Help

When cryptocurrency is involved in a divorce, it can make things more complicated. An experienced divorce attorney may help you determine how to divide cryptocurrencies equitably. The lawyers at The VanNoy Firm are knowledgeable in asset division processes and will help you protect and receive your expected marital assets. For assistance in cryptocurrency and high asset division in divorce, contact us today. 



About The Author

Anthony S. VanNoy

Trial Attorney

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