Lawyers warn bitcoin could be used to hide assets in divorce cases

Over the past year, central banks and governments have warned that citizens could participate in tax evasion schemes by utilizing the peer-to-peer decentralized digital currency bitcoin. It is unclear if bitcoiners are doing so, but lawyers are now warning that bitcoin could be complicit in divorce cases.

Lawyers in Great Britain have cautioned that the virtual currency could very well be utilized by divorcing spouses in order to conceal assets from each other as the court begins to allocate assets. Solicitors in the United Kingdom argue that judges are kinder towards the wives due to the fact that they view the contributions of the primary earner and the housewife as equal.

Couple Having Argument At HomeThis is why the husbands could be using bitcoin since courts have to handle allegations that one partner is hiding their assets and not fully disclosing them to the courts. One expert argues that more lawyers will request financial disclosures for bitcoin if there has been any evidence that the individual has used the cryptocurrency.

In recent months, there have been reports that husbands have been sifting through forum discussions to get as much information as they can in relation to the virtual currency and how it can be utilized in such cases.

“They can be used to run a parallel economy,” Ayesha Vardag, a London divorce lawyer, told the Financial Times. “People will go to immense lengths as a spousal claim is more damaging than tax because it is half your wealth.”

In the future, most expect bitcoins to become an asset and then disclosed in divorce cases. “Husbands are becoming more and more creative in terms of what they do to reduce their wealth and the courts are struggling to catch up. It’s just like when the internet started and it was difficult for courts to catch up,” said Frank Arndt, head of international family law at Stowe Family Law.

One of the primary features of bitcoin is that the investor can remain relatively anonymous and bank accounts used to purchase, sell, mine or trade bitcoins are difficult to link to one precise person. This is why law enforcement agencies and public officials have often warned that illicit transactions and criminal activities can be performed with bitcoins.