Cryptocurrencies have surged in popularity, and if you suspect your soon-to-be ex-spouse of holding digital assets, your divorce may help uncover them. As reported by CNBC, an estimated 20 million Americans own digital currencies, and their market value reached $2 trillion during April of 2021.
An increase in luxury purchases, for example, may raise suspicions related to whether your spouse has recently profited from cryptocurrency trades. If you notice missing money or a newly opened bank account located offshore, you may include your observations in your divorce’s discovery process.
What clues may point to a cryptocurrency account?
Your spouse’s emails and online searches may show certain tickers assigned to cryptocurrencies such as BTC, which stands for bitcoin, the most popular crypto asset. If you find emails of news reports or trade confirmations for bitcoin, it may show that your spouse has an interest in trading them.
Statements from a bank or stock account may also reveal the source of seemingly sudden “extra” money. As noted by the Internal Revenue Service, a form 1040 tax return filed for 2020 requires a disclosure of any trades or acquisitions of cryptocurrency made during the year. If you filed a joint tax return, you may request a transcript from the IRS online.
How may I take ownership of my spouse’s crypto assets?
If your spouse purchased crypto assets with funds qualifying as marital property, California’s divorce laws may consider them as part of your community assets. You may request up to half of their current market value in your divorce settlement.
A California judge may require your ex-spouse to provide you with cash or to trade the value of cryptocurrencies for your other marital assets. To include crypto assets in your settlement, however, you may need to first confirm their existence.