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Could bitcoins affect my divorce settlement?

When it comes to the division of assets in a divorce, many people feel like they have a good handle on the assets that are eligible for distribution. For instance, if you are getting divorced, you may know about the bank accounts, properties, debts, cars and other personal items you acquired during your marriage.

However, there are some assets that may need to be divided that are not so easy to see. In some cases, you may not have realized something is considered a martial asset; in other cases, your ex could actually hiding assets from you. In either of these situations, the asset involved could be bitcoins.

If you are unfamiliar with bitcoins, you are not alone. Bitcoin is a virtual currency. Transactions using bitcoin don't happen at a register at the grocery store or by going to the bank to deposit some cash; they happen online and you never actually see any type of currency in your hand. Rather, you can use, spend, buy or transfer bitcoins online using a virtual wallet. 

Bitcoin transactions are much more difficult to track because they are not backed by state or federal governments and records on the transactions don't include personal information. Further, the information traded in these exchanges can be cleared in a matter of minutes. All these factors can make it fairly easy for someone to think it's a good idea to try and hide money in bitcoin.

However, hiding or misrepresenting assets during a divorce can be grounds for severe penalties, financial and otherwise. Unfortunately, some people decide to take their chances and try to get away with unlawful conduct. 

This is why it can be crucial to work with your attorney to examine and track down all financially-relevant information during a divorce. This can include looking in places you may not think of and securing accurate valuations on things like businesses and investments. It can also include locating digital assets, which can be quite complicated.

In order to protect yourself and your future, it can be essential that you work with your attorney to identify and calculate all marital assets. Once this is done, you can proceed with dividing them in accordance with state laws. 

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