Cryptocurrency and Divorce: What You Need to Know

02.16.22

During a divorce, parties will often sell property. The parties might own an investment property, a vacation home, or a marital residence. As the parties get ready to sell the house, the buyer asks the parties right before settlement if they will accept Bitcoin or some other form of cryptocurrency towards the purchase price. Should the parties accept the cryptocurrency?

In the world of the Meta Universe where virtual real estate is being sold for tens of millions of dollars is there an inherent risk in accepting cryptocurrency? Professional athletes are now negotiating in their contracts they be paid in Bitcoin. People can purchase items online, even cars, for Bitcoin. Additionally, attorneys may also be asked if their bill can be paid in crypto. What’s the downside? Of course, Bitcoin is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange so the risk is if you accept Bitcoin the monies you received for the purchase of your new home may be less than what you negotiated. Of course, the reverse is also true, and you may get a windfall.

Whether parties to a divorce will soon be negotiating their settlements in cryptocurrency will be something to keep an eye out over the next year or so. Bitcoin, as with other publicly traded investments, is like stocks that also are subject to market fluctuations maybe just not as volatile as cryptocurrency. The family law practitioner needs to be aware of the possibility of the parties in a divorce may soon be facing choices regarding the buying and selling of cryptocurrency. It is important for all parties to have a working knowledge of cryptocurrency to protect everyone’s interest.

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rrichardson@wglaw.com

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