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Concealing Assets with Bitcoin in Divorce

Concealing Assets with Bitcoin in Divorce

Hiding assets during a divorce is illegal and ill-advised. If discovered, it could negatively impact the perpetrator’s ability to receive a fair settlement during the division of assets portion of the divorce negotiations. We’ve previously discussed bitcoin here, here, and here.

One method of asset concealment that has gained popularity in recent years is to hide assets with Bitcoin. Tech-savvy people have been using Bitcoin, a form of cryptocurrency, to transfer money under pseudonyms without interference from a bank or government authority. The privacy associated with Bitcoin has made it a prime source for asset concealment for those going through the divorce process.

How do people get caught concealing assets with Bitcoins?

Although Bitcoin does offer users a certain level of privacy, it is still traceable. If a person going through a divorce transfers large amounts of money into a Bitcoin exchange, it’s likely to raise red flags. The same is true of large cash transfers or withdrawals used to purchase Bitcoin from various points of sale.

Digital forensic experts have also become quite savvy at tracking the use of Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency.

Even if investigators are unable to determine exactly what a person is doing with cash withdrawals, it’s still possible that such unauthorized withdrawals were made in bad faith and dissipated marital assets. If a Divorce Lawyer in Salt Lake City Utah can prove that was the case, a court may decrease the amounts of assets or property the perpetrator receives. In some cases, criminal charges could result, as well. It would be a very bad idea to conceal assets. It can result in the person hiding the bitcoin to end up in jail.

What Happens to the Wedding Rings?

When a marriage ends in divorce, one uncomfortable decision is related to what happens with the couple’s wedding rings. This can be a big deal for some people, especially if the rings were expensive or were important family heirlooms.

There are some cases on record in which courts have classified wedding rings as gifts, which means the person who gave the ring no longer has any legal entitlement to it. However, there are several factors that could go into determining who takes possession of rings:

  • Inter vivos gifts: Inter vivos is Latin for “between the living,” which refers to any type of gift made by one person to another while both are still alive. This contrasts with gifts left through a will and inheritance. Once the gift is delivered to the receiver, it is not allowed to be recovered by the person who gave it.
  • Gifts causa mortis: Causa mortis means “on the occasion of death,” and refers to any gifts made in contemplation of one’s passing. This is not, however, a gift given through a will. Rather, it is a gift given while the donor expects to die imminently. For example, if a woman’s father gives his future son-in-law a meaningful family heirloom when he expects to die, but he survives and his daughter’s marriage ultimately breaks down, he can legally recover the gift made causa mortis.
  • Conditional gifts: Some jurisdictions view engagement and wedding rings as “conditional gifts,” which mean as long as a person meets a given condition, he or she is allowed o keep the gift. If an engagement were to fall apart, for example, that condition would not have been met, which means the person who gave the ring could potentially recover it.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506