When crypto-millionaires divorce

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2023 | High-Asset Divorce |

Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, are digital assets that exist only online and are traded via an encrypted ledger. They have become increasingly popular and valuable in recent years, creating a new class of crypto-millionaires who own large amounts of virtual currency. But, what happens when these crypto-millionaires decide to divorce? How are cryptocurrencies handled in a Virginia divorce, and are there any special considerations for them?

Equitable distribution

In Virginia, as in most states, marital assets are subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. This means that the court will divide the property acquired during the marriage fairly, but not necessarily equally, based on various factors.

Cryptocurrencies are considered marital assets if they were purchased or acquired during the marriage and before the separation, regardless of whose name they are in. Therefore, they are subject to equitable distribution and must be disclosed and valued in the divorce process.

Identify, locate and value

of the main challenges that cryptocurrencies pose in a divorce is that they can be difficult to identify, locate and value. Unlike traditional assets, such as bank accounts or stocks, cryptocurrencies are not necessarily titled in a person’s name or held with a financial institution. They are stored in digital wallets that can be accessed with private keys or passwords.

This means that some spouses may try to hide or deny their ownership of cryptocurrencies, especially if they have significant value or potential for appreciation. To prevent this, it is important to conduct thorough discovery and investigation to uncover any hidden or undisclosed cryptocurrencies.

Finding secret cryptocurrency

Some of the ways to find secret cryptocurrency accounts include searching electronic devices for digital currency ticker symbols, login credentials, confirmation emails from exchanges or transfer activity on bank statements. Check tax returns for cryptocurrency income or transactions, and review loan applications for cryptocurrency assets.

You may have to subpoena U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchanges for records of transactions or holdings. And, you may need to hire forensic experts or private investigators to trace crypto-transactions or locate digital wallets.


Another challenge is that cryptocurrencies are volatile and fluctuate in value frequently. This can make it hard to determine their fair market value at the time of the divorce. To address this issue, it is advisable to use a reliable source of valuation, such as a reputable cryptocurrency exchange or an appraiser with expertise in digital assets. Additionally, it may be necessary to agree on a specific date or method of valuation to avoid disputes over price fluctuations.