How Is Cryptocurrency Divided in a CA Divorce?

coins representing cryptocurrency in front of screen

Since the early 2000s, technology has rapidly expanded. As such, this is constantly influencing the way that legal decisions are made. For example, text messages are admissible evidence during court cases, and internet history can be the deciding factor as to whether or not someone is guilty of a crime. However, one recent advancement many are unsure how to handle revolves around cryptocurrency. If you are going through a divorce, you may wonder how this asset is distributed. As such, you’ll want to keep reading to learn why you must connect with Los Angeles division of assets attorneys.

What Is Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital form of currency that is an alternative form of payment. However, this form of money is not controlled by a central bank, instead being stored on something known as a blockchain. Due to the nature of crypto as an investment, they are extremely volatile, meaning they can fluctuate drastically in value based on supply and demand as opposed to an intrinsic value.

To generate cryptocurrency, you must “mine” or use a computer to create coins. If you own crypto, you do not own anything physical or tangible. Instead, you own the right to transfer this currency.

How Is This Asset Distributed in a Divorce?

It’s important to understand that because of the nature of crypto, this is a complex asset to handle. Not only does its value rapidly change, but it can be hard to track down or verify the existence of this asset. As such, it is incredibly easy for spouses to hide assets via crypto during a divorce to receive a more favorable outcome, even though doing so can hold them in perjury for failing to disclose all assets.

If you or your spouse own crypto, disclosing it is critical. California adheres to community property laws. As such, any asset obtained during your marriage or separate assets co-mingled with joint assets are considered marital property. These are then subject to equal distribution, meaning each spouse is entitled to a 50/50 split.

However, if you owned assets before the marriage and kept them separate or received an asset as a gift and kept it away from other marital assets, it will be deemed separate property. This is not subject to distribution during divorce.

Bitcoin, when disclosed, is treated like any other asset during a divorce. The main challenge comes with valuing these assets, so working with an experienced attorney is critical.

When going through a divorce with complex assets like cryptocurrency, ensuring you do everything possible to receive a fair outcome is critical. That’s why working with an experienced family law attorney from the Zitser Family Law Group, APC, is in your best interest. Our team has the necessary experience handling complex assets and high-value divorces so you can rest assured that your divorce is in good hands. Connect with our team today to discuss your unique circumstances.

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