Divorce and bitcoins

Nevada couples who are getting a divorce may need to split their assets. This could become complicated if one of them has a bitcoin account. Although in the past bitcoin has been little known and of little worth, it has recently had a surge in both value and in people's awareness of it. For some couples, bitcoin might even be a contributor to divorce since it may have taken a great deal of time to build up a substantial bitcoin account.

However, bitcoin may also introduce some complications. For example, it might be easy for a person to hide a bitcoin account from a spouse before divorce. Some websites even encourage this. Another complication might be figuring out how to value and distribute the bitcoin account. For example, the value of the account might be assessed at its purchase price or at its current market value. The person who is supposed to get a portion of the account might want it all immediately in a lump sum or might want a percentage of profits over a fixed time period.

It is not just bitcoins that raise these types of issues, though. It is possible to conceal other types of assets as well. Furthermore, in a high-asset divorce, there could be questions about how to value other types of assets, such as retirement accounts, businesses and other investments. In Nevada, a community property state, the property acquired by either person after the marriage is considered shared marital property. Therefore, if a person started a bitcoin account before getting married but its value increased significantly after the marriage, there could be complications in determining how much a spouse should get. For other assets, such as homes and retirement accounts, it may be necessary to account for taxes, penalties, insurance or other costs that could lower the asset's value.

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