Bitcoins and Divorce in Pennsylvania

Obtaining a divorce in Pennsylvania requires a full disclosure of all marital assets and debts so that the court can decide who gets what (a process known as equitable distribution). A spouse trying to hide money from their soon to be ex is nothing new of course, but with the rise of bitcoins finding these hidden funds has become more complicated. 

You may have heard of the term "bitcoin" due to its dramatic increase in popularity over the last few years. Bitcoin is a digital currency that is completely decentralized, meaning that there are no banks or governments involved in the regulation or tracking of this currency. Unlike money there is no actual physical currency- no one is carrying bitcoins in their wallet. 

Rather bitcoins are stored in virtual wallets such as those found on a computer or smartphone. This is because all transactions involving bitcoin take place over the internet. There is no need for someone dealing in bitcoins to provide their name and transactions can take place between people located anywhere in the world. All of this makes the tracking of bitcoins difficult. 

If you believe your divorcing spouse is not being truthful in the disclosure of their assets your attorney can follow the paper trail to find assets such as bank accounts and assess their value. The anonymity of bitcoins and their lack of a paper trail makes traditional discovery methods largely useless. A spouse who is caught hiding assets will have to face the consequences of lying to the court. But first, those assets have to be found! 

Don't try to go through the process of obtaining a divorce and dividing up marital property without an experienced family lawyer. An experienced family law attorney can handle the discovery process and can find these assets. Contact our office today to set up a consultation with one of our knowledgeable family law attorneys.

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