By Inna G. Materese | Esquire
It's hard to read or see the news these days without running into mention of bitcoin, the crypto-currency that has exploded onto the scene and exponentially increased overnight. Even so, most of us are left scratching our heads when it comes to understanding how it all works or what it all means.
For family law litigants and practitioners, the prospect of a "bitcoin divorce" is even more of a puzzler. Are bitcoin divisible in equitable distribution? If so, are these asset in the nature of currency or personal property or stocks? Are bitcoin transactions traceable and able to be regulated? Perhaps most importantly, can bitcoin and/or other crypto-currency be withdrawn or sold for actual dollars?
There are currently few definitive answers to these questions. However, we are already seeing the impact of the electronic cash system on divorce matters as some appear to be using the currency as a high-tech method of hiding cash.
If you or your partner own crypto-currency, consult with an attorney regarding the best way to deal with this new type of asset.