Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies complicating financial proceedings

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are being reported as harbouring wealth for the purposes of minimising the matrimonial asset pot between parties in litigation. the courts are under pressure to provide guidance to parties in dispute in order to tackle problems surrounding the increasing number of individuals using digital currencies such as Bitcon, Etherium and Ripple and hiding such wealth on the so-called “dark web” to defeat or frustrate applications for financial remedy.

Family law practitioners are seeking guidance from the court to assist in how best to investigate allegations of Bitcoin use and how parties may endeavour to undertake a proportionate and cost-effective investigation into the use of such currencies. The courts have wide-ranging powers to investigate allegations of parties hiding matrimonial assets and frequently rely on the use of experts to examine the individual case circumstances to establish if this has occurred. However, such experts do not come cheaply and often can be cost-prohibitive to lower value cases.

Cases involving cryptocurrencies add a layer of complexity, irrespective of whether they are disclosed or not, given the highly volatile nature of their value. It can be enough of a challenge for the courts to simply agree on what the asset might be worth, let alone if it exists at all.

If you would like to know more about disclosure of assets and financial proceedings and how we might help you resolve your family law matters, Hunter & Uro offers a free, initial consultation to prospective clients. Our specialist family solicitors can help guide you through your options. Contact us on 01234 889777 or 0207 177 9777 for more information.

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