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How Bitcoin could impact property division process

Few Maryland residents are aware of the technological advancement associated with cryptocurrencies. This field focuses on providing clients with the ability to conduct financial transactions with anonymity. Unfortunately, some spouses who are facing a divorce will try and use Bitcoin and similar platforms to attempt to shield assets from the property division process.

Bitcoin users can create an account, then deposit or transfer funds into that account. Their identity is carefully protected, which makes it difficult to determine who is the "owner" of any given account. In cases of divorce, some spouses will create a Bitcoin account for the purpose of transferring funds into that account to remove them from the base of marital wealth.

While technology has led to astounding advancements and plenty of options to use those resources improperly, there are also plenty of ways to uncover such behaviors. A forensic accountant can look through a family's financial documents, and can find discrepancies that suggest the improper removal of marital funds. Bitcoin does a great job of protecting its users' identity, but with the right level of investigation, it is possible to determine the presence of an account, and who owns the funds held within.

For those in Maryland who are concerned that their spouse may have taken action to shield assets from the property division process, there is plenty that can be done to address the issue. Working with a divorce attorney and forensic accountant is a great place to begin. In cases where significant assets have been transferred to platforms such as Bitcoin, being able to prove those activities is key to seeking a fair and just outcome.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Hiding Assets with Bitcoin in Divorce", David Centeno, Feb. 23, 2017

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