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How cryptocurrency can affect your divorce

Allegations of fraud and deceit can upend efforts to divorce amicably through mediation. If there is a lack of trust,or concerns that one person is lying about important factors like marital assets, it may be impossible to come to a fair, agreeable solution outside of court. This can be a frustrating, expensive obstacle to overcome.

Unfortunately, divorcing spouses across California may be increasingly confronted with this problem thanks to cryptocurrency.

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum is digital money. It is not backed by a government; you can't hold it in your hand. However, it is very real currency with value, even though that value fluctuates regularly. 

People can buy or "mine" for cryptocurrency and keep it in a digital wallet. There is no bank statement that comes in the mail, and the entire system prioritizes anonymity and encryption.

What role does it play in a divorce?

As this Fortune.com article discusses, cryptocurrency is creating problems for divorcing couples because it is difficult to value and often all but impossible to track down unless the owner shares the information. While the law requires people to fully and accurately disclose their assets during divorce, it is possible that a person will hide ownership of cryptocurrency to shield it from division.

If someone is accused of hiding assets or undervaluing property, then legal proceedings can become contentious and drawn out. This can be particularly upsetting for people who had hoped to resolve all divorce-related matters through mediation. 

What you can do if you are concerned

Anyone with concerns about cryptocurrency, or the asset division process in California in general, has the right to consult an attorney to assess their legal options. Obtaining a fair and accurate settlement is a top priority in most divorces, and a legal representative can help you pursue this.

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