It's easy to go to the ATM, enter your card and learn your bank balance. It's a whole other thing to figure out where your spouse might be keeping cryptocurrency - a digital asset, such as bitcoin - and how to access it.
But that's just the position some high-asset divorcing spouses find themselves in: trying to gain their share of joint money their soon-to-be ex has squirreled away digitally.
Cryptocurrency has become more popular, and as a result, it is cropping up as an issue more often in divorces in Florida and around the U.S. In fact, a 2018 survey from the Global Blockchain Business Council showed that 5 percent of Americans owned cryptocurrency but 21 percent more were considering acquiring it.
If you suspect your spouse might have hidden some funds through cryptocurrency, a forensic accountant should be called in. A professional will know where to look in the discovery phase of a divorce for the possible acquisition of cryptocurrency.
Finding it is a different story. The more someone knows about cryptocurrency, the more likely they are to be able to hide it away. And, in fact, it is expected that over the next decade and longer, it is anticipated that people who are well-to-do will turn to cryptocurrency to do just that.
Lawmakers have been slow to respond and pass laws to set rules for cryptocurrency. Until then, divorce cases involving digital assets likely will take longer to settle.
If you intend to divorce, be sure to let your divorce attorney know if you can't account for some of your marital funds. Your attorney will want to see bank statements that show large withdrawals and can call in a team to help investigate.