Property division can get complicated when you have complex digital assets. Examples include Bitcoin and NFTs, two of the most popular ways that people invest right now. This is very different than standard investing in the stock market and it can raise a lot of complications.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure you understand exactly which assets even exist. If your spouse has been doing a lot of online investing, but you’re simply not involved in the process, they could have tens of thousands of dollars in accounts that you don’t even know they opened. Simply finding all of these is the first step toward making sure they get divided properly, since they still represent marital assets.
Would your spouse try to hide these assets?
Another thing to consider is that some people try to use digital assets as a way to hide wealth. Someone could buy an NFT and then “forget” to disclose it to the court. They’re effectively trying to hide this money because this isn’t a physical asset that is easily discoverable and they understand that you may not know that they ever purchased it. Tracking down these types of assets, which are usually discoverable through paper trails and digital accounts, takes time and dedication.
Dynamic assets can also cause valuation problems
Another issue with some of these assets is that they are far more volatile and dynamic than traditional stocks. They can plunge by thousands of dollars, or rise to brand new heights and break records, all in a matter of days.
But a divorce can take months. When should you actually get a valuation of your spouse’s Bitcoin or other types of cryptocurrency so that you know what it’s worth? What if you get that valuation and then you see all of the account totals double as the prices soar? You really need to know exactly what everything is worth so that you can at least get comparable assets, even if you’re not interested in getting the cryptocurrency itself.
A fast-paced world
Finally, these types of digital assets are always changing, and new ones are sometimes being invented. As you work your way through this whole process, make sure that you know exactly what legal steps to take.