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Divorce Lawyers are sweating as Couples fight for Bitcoin

Feb 18, 2018 Posted /  2862 Views

Divorce Lawyers are sweating as Couples fight for Bitcoin

The bitcoin value is giving headaches to divorce lawyers as the law firms in the United Kingdom revealed that the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and fluctuate severely- it gives qualms to divorcing couples, who want their rightful shares.

The Royds Withy King law firm states that recently they are facing a dilemma where they receive multifold cases that involve disputes over virtual currency holdings. The firm reveals that one of the cases that they encountered lately involved a sum of $1.4 million.

The firm disclosed that it is at present they are working on three distinct high-sum divorce cases where spouses are investigating the revelation about the approximate value of the cryptocurrency assets.

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“These are the first cases we have seen, and we expect to see many more. There will also be those divorces where a spouse may not have disclosed such assets, leaving a traceability nightmare,” wrote Vandana Chitroda, a partner at Royds Withy King in a blog post which was published on Valentine’s Day.

The firm revealed that in all the three cases, the husbands had invested in cryptocurrencies which included bitcoin, litecoin, ripple, and ethereum. The media interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, is getting high over the time. This has lead to increase in enlightenment and mainstreaming of the virtual currency space. Now more the subject becomes mainstream more it is open for debates and more an issue for the general populace.

This means that crypto-space has become another talking point for the separating couple, which has definitely added to the problems of divorce lawyers. The other issue is the lack of laws pertaining to the currency as there is no definite direction and legalities written for the lawyers to relate to. In fact, these are first of its kind cases and have gained surge only because of the recent surge in interest.

The value of the assets exploded just last year as the price of bitcoin went from $900 to $19,000 at one point. Even though the value of Bitcoin has deflated as much as 50 percent in the last month, still it is swimming at $10,000 mark, which is also huge in terms of investments.

The Royds Withy King has stated that in one of its case the value of bitcoins is worth $112,000 (£80,000) where the person invested in the currency during 2016. The law firms disclosed the investment went worth £1 million in December 2017, when the price of bitcoin rose to $20k and at present is worth £600,000.

“This presents a real challenge when valuing cryptocurrencies. Valuations will have to be carried out a number of times during the divorce process as the case progresses,” Chitroda said.

However, the original essence of cryptocurrencies can be defined as- something which is essentially traded anonymously on a decentralized network without the necessity for a bank account. This attribute makes it challenging to determine the nature of a spouse's investment or holding.

“Tracing cryptocurrencies could be enormously time-consuming and expensive,” Mark Philips, another partner at Royds Withy King, commented. "When cryptocurrency is purchased directly and moved offline, it becomes almost impossible to trace,” said Phillips.

These are first of its kind divorce cases and surely the number will increase soon, it will be interesting to see the results and how lawyers come up to settle down the funds involved.

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Tags: Cryptocurrencies nightmare divorce investments lawyers

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