Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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In divorce, Bitcoin is the new offshore account

Divorce is a time when emotions run high. Even when the decision to end your marriage is the right one, you may go into the process with lots of anger, sadness and resentment. These are understandable feelings that are natural during divorce, but they can unfortunately lead some people to display irresponsible behavior.

Hiding assets during a divorce is often the result of one person allowing these emotions to rule. While the act of concealing marital property from a soon-to-be ex-spouse is nothing new, emerging technology is making it easier.

Bitcoin is changing the game for hidden assets

First launched in 2009, Bitcoin is a digital currency that recently experienced a boost in popularity. Users remain anonymous when purchasing and spending Bitcoins, and they are easy to transfer to another country without any type of conventional paper trail.

The combined anonymity and inability to trace Bitcoins makes them an appealing place to stash marital money. If you are worried that your spouse might try to conceal important assets, it is usually a good idea to keep a close eye on all financial matters and transactions.

What if I suspect that my ex is hiding something?

It can be extremely upsetting to realize that your spouse is siphoning off and concealing marital assets for his or her own personal use. However, you are not without options for addressing these concerns. At the beginning of your divorce, you and your partner must both submit financial affidavits detailing both marital and personal assets, liabilities and incomes.

Whether you believe that your ex began hiding assets before submitting the affidavits, it is possible to verify the given information. You can subpoena tax returns, bank statements and more, and may also send out interrogatories and subpoenas that can help demonstrate the validity of a given affidavit.

Your assets are important -- protect them

Hiding assets during a divorce may lead to criminal charges or penalties, but this does not prevent an untold number of people from trying to conceal money from their ex.

Even if you do not believe that your soon-to-be ex will conceal your marital assets, you should remain vigilant regarding all financial matters during your divorce, as doing so may alert you to this behavior early on. If you notice unusual financial patterns or missing assets, an attorney experienced in New York family law can help you determine the truth.

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