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Be aware of the impact Bitcoin can have on community property

The process of dividing marital wealth is a primary focus for many Louisiana spouses who are going through a divorce. That is understandable, as the outcome of property division will have a lasting impact on both parties as they move beyond their marriage and into the next phase of their lives. When preparing for negotiations of community property, spouses need to be aware of Bitcoin and similar companies, and be on the lookout for signs that their partner may have taken steps to shield assets from loss during divorce.

Bitcoin is a company that specializes in cryptocurrency. Put in different terms, it is an online platform that allows users to deposit or transfer funds into an account, then use those funds to purchase items or transfer money to others. All of that activity is done anonymously, as Bitcoin goes to great lengths to shield the identity of its users. That is appealing to those who would like to protect a portion of marital wealth from loss during property division.

The process of dividing marital assets is intended to provide both spouses with a fair share of accumulated wealth. Those assets can then be put to use in structuring each party's next steps, whether that is securing new housing, moving to a new city or pursuing new business or personal opportunities. Not every spouse is interested in a fair division of assets, however, and online financial options such as Bitcoin offer a means of concealing assets.

For those in Louisiana who are concerned that their spouse may have used Bitcoin or a similar tool to hide assets, there is a way to make things right. Forensic accountants have become increasingly savvy about searching for evidence of cryptocurrency transactions. Having a professional review the family's financial documents can help spouses to ensure that community property negotiations are truly fair and balanced.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Hiding Assets with Bitcoin in Divorce", David Centeno, Feb. 23, 2017

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