Crypto divorce – better safe than sorry – what is Unido’s best advice for couples?
Break ups are never easy, especially if you’ve lived with your partner for an extended period. Things can get pretty ugly if kids, pets, or maybe real estate are involved. Still, there are social services who deal with such (unpleasant) situations. There are courts to decide on child custody, alimony and the division of (the rest of the) property.
But what if among the assets are also cryptocurrencies? What if the couple had a joint ledger or, what if one partner wanted to hide the fact they were investing in crypto?
The latter is nowadays considered to be an increasingly common problem, especially when it comes to divorce. What once was money hidden under the mattress, a secret bank account in the Caymans – now becomes a hidden crypto wallet. A lot of times, one partner is fully unaware of the other partner’s crypto account existence or is unfamiliar with its possible worth.
However, try not to panic, and let’s not suspiciously look at all the USB sticks hanging around your apartment. Most people use mainstream platforms such as Coinbase or Binance to invest in crypto. In most cases, cryptos can be trailed and found.
Studies have shown that over 46 million Americans are mulling buying crypto in the next year. The crypto market values grew to a record $2 trillion in April, that just might be alluring more partners to hide their stash in case of divorce.
However, there are moments when one partner suspects the other is hiding a sizable amount of hidden cryptos. If that’s the case - a lawyer can then file a subpoena, or court order, to access their spouse’s computer or mobile phone.
There are a few ways to reveal a hidden crypto account:
- Computer experts can scrutinize each and every piece of electronically stored information for possible ticker symbols or search devices for login credentials.
- Forensics can go through one person’s email and messages to scour anything that could come from exchanges
- They can also check all the transfers within bank accounts or possible records of crypto-based income on past tax returns
Still, even though all cryptos are equal – some cryptos are more equal than others. George Orwell might have some other concepts in mind when he was talking about equality, but the principles stay the same.
Some cryptos are more challenging to track than others, especially ones that are acting more anonymously. Also, other problems may arise when dealing with foreign cryptocurrency exchange, such as getting records from foreign companies, etc.
However, before we get to any legal analyses, it’s vital to deal with a few questions:
- Is crypto considered marital property?
Cryptocurrency is classed as an asset! It can be viewed as separate property or marital property. However, believe it or not, in most countries – whatever is acquired within the marriage is considered acquired property. That means that everything is divided in half if there is not a prenup or a different type of contract.
Also, one has to consider the growth in the value of cryptocurrency during the marriage. The growth itself can also be viewed as a marital asset, even though the original purchase happened before the wedding took place.
- Can you lose crypto when divorcing?
In most countries, cryptos are treated the same as any other asset. That means that assets you acquired before the marriage, such as inheritance or gifts, should not be divided between the subjects of divorce.
However, if a crypto transaction of any kind happened during the marriage - it is considered marital property and can be divided.
If cryptocurrencies are considered marital property, the easiest way to split them is divide the said value, meaning each party would get half.
- Can one use crypto to hide assets during divorce?
Thankfully, more and more lawyers are getting familiar with crypto technology. This, unfortunately, has led to more lawyers considering crypto as a way of hiding assets.
A forensic expert, usually employed by the parties, is generally in search of tickers, login credentials, wallet keys, bank statements, etc.
‘Colorado crypto-divorce use-case’
In the US state of Colorado, courts treat crypto as any other investment asset regarding divorce.
It doesn’t matter who invested in crypto. If they invested in crypto during the marriage – the whole thing is viewed as a property that will be divided equally between partners.
If the crypto was acquired before the marriage, it’s considered to be separate property.
However, if the crypto value rose during the marriage, the amount earned is divided as marital property.
Be it as it may, if you’re married – what’s crucial is for both partners to have an understanding of their investments. Crypto custody, for example, means securing the private key that proves you are the only owner of the funds kept within your wallet.
That is something you should and could consider before and after you get married.
In traditional banking, all custodians are financial institutions, as required by law. With crypto, you are your own custodians.
We know that “love is a many splendored thing”. Unido is here for you – in times of love and in times of being alone with yourself.
Unido’s proprietary multi-sig key management technology is crucial when it comes to “divided property”. It is actually very useful as a protection – no matter if you’re divorcing and not.
The fact is that, if you and your partner have lived together, created together and earned together – it is only fair that in case of a breakup, you split everything in half. Unido multi-sig key solution protects you in a way that, if it comes to divorce, it’s not just one entity sho holds a key to crypto wallet. With Unido, both partners can split the key and if they decide to split, both still will have access to THEIR crypto.
Powered by Unido Core, multi-sig technology uses an innovative private key obfuscation algorithm that breaks up private keys and securely encrypts and shares the key with multiple users. This reduces the chances of the key being lost or stolen, and it allows multiple members of a wallet or account to approve or refuse transactions, as needed. Transactions from a given wallet can only be authorized/executed if/when a group of clients who share a wallet hold enough private key fragments to authorize the transaction.
Nonetheless, suppose you are anticipating a separation. In that case, it is crucial to learn how to locate and value possible crypto holdings to ensure the whole property division is just and fair
About Unido EP
Unido EP takes the complexity and expense out of digital asset management for organizations with sophisticated corporate governance needs. Our patented, end-to-end platform seamlessly automates corporate governance and self-custody of crypto assets so you can securely store, manage and invest in crypto without massive overheads.
Unido EP comes with a web-based dashboard and a decentralized application (dApp) featuring a robust set of DeFi tools, easy-to-set-up authority regimes and iron-clad security. All of this is inside a complete digital asset management platform, built with financial institutions in mind but tailor-made for any organization or individual’s needs.
Financial Information Disclaimer
The information presented in this content is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your individual objectives, needs or financial situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate for you before making an investment decision.