There is No Mystery To Finding Cryptocurrency in a Divorce

Bitcoin Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies may sound exotic and seem like something new under the sun for divorce purposes. But that is not the case. There is no particular mystery or anything new concerning cryptocurrencies when a couple is getting divorced. Cryptocurrencies are just another form of financial asset and are subject to the full power and authority of the Maryland or District of Columbia divorce court.

Like other assets and property, cryptocurrencies are generally considered “marital property” under the divorce laws of both Maryland and the District of Columbia. Under both sets of divorce laws, ALL marital assets are subject to be equitably divided as part of the divorce. If a divorce is sought and either spouse possesses cryptocurrency or other crypto assets, those financial assets will be subject to equitable division. As an example, if one spouse has $100,000 in a bank account, that $100,000 will be subject to equitable division by the Maryland or D.C. divorce court. Likewise, if one spouse has $100,000 in Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency, that $100,000 will be subject to equitable division.

Read as our Maryland asset division attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl explains more on this.

But what if my spouse is hiding their cryptocurrency account?

There is also no particular mystery or anything new with respect to spouses trying to hide marital assets during a divorce. Trying to hide marital assets has been going on for a long time, and the Maryland/D.C. divorce courts have a full set of tools and techniques for uncovering hidden marital assets.

But what about the digital wallet and the encrypted keys?

Again, there is no special mystery or something new here. Cryptocurrencies, digital wallets, and special keys are just newer versions of safes, bank vaults, and combinations. If there is $100,000 cash in a safe, the Maryland/D.C. divorce court will order the spouse to open the safe (or provide the combination). Likewise, if there is $100,000 in a digital wallet, the divorce court will order the spouse to open it (or provide the encryption key).

So, what’s to be done?

As noted, Maryland and D.C. divorce courts have a set of tools and techniques under their rules of civil procedure for ferreting out cryptocurrency assets. Each jurisdiction requires financial disclosure statements to be filed. These statements must be true and accurate and include cryptocurrency account information. If a spouse lies, that spouse is in trouble.

Then, the rules of civil procedure allow spouses to engage in discovery. Discovery just means that the spouses are allowed to try and discover information from each other. Discovery includes asking written questions — such as, “Do you have any cryptocurrency accounts?” If your spouse lies in answer to that question, your spouse is in trouble.

Discovery also includes allowing each spouse to take the other spouse’s oral testimony under oath. A whole set of questions will be asked about cryptocurrency accounts. If the spouse lies, that spouse will be in trouble.

In addition, discovery includes seeking documents from third parties, like financial institutions and investment companies. If one spouse or the other has cryptocurrency accounts, there is usually some indication of those types of accounts on copies of financial documents. Further, discovery in Maryland/D.C. divorce cases includes the possibility of mandatory inspection of computers and other electronic devices. Cryptocurrency accounts leave a trace on such devices.

As can be seen, Maryland and D.C. divorce courts have plenty of tools for finding and handling crypto assets during a divorce.

Family Law Attorneys in Maryland And D.C.

Contact the seasoned and experienced Maryland and D.C. family law lawyers at The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl for more information on asset division in divorce. We have the skills and expertise you need. We have proven experience with family law for Maryland and the District of Columbia. Schedule a consultation today or call us at (410) 696-4326 or (202) 964-7280. We have offices in Columbia, MD, and Washington, DC.

Scroll to Top