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Birmingham Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Property Division > Is Cryptocurrency A Marital Asset?

Is Cryptocurrency A Marital Asset?


Are people who own vast sums of cryptocurrency rich, or is it all an illusion?  What do you do with an NFT after you buy it?  Digital assets are as misunderstood as they are mysterious, and unfortunately, no one understands them less well than the family law courts.  These days, you see people, often the ones who, in middle school, would beat you up if you could use the word “fungible” in a sentence, boasting on social media about their digital wealth, and while it is certainly easy enough to exchange digital assets with other willing participants, accounting for them in a court of law is no simple matter.  Alabama is an equitable distribution state, and dividing cash and real estate equitably among divorcing spouses is complicated enough, but dividing Bitcoins, NFTs, and other such subtle assets is even more challenging.  If your spouse owns digital assets, your Birmingham property division lawyer will help you get your fair share of them in your divorce case.

Dividing Digital Assets in a Divorce Case

A famous quote from The Usual Suspects says that the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he did not exist.  Digital assets, at their worst, behave similarly.  They prove their existence when it is convenient but make themselves scarce in the presence of ex-spouses and the IRS.  If your ex-spouse denies in court that he or she owns digital assets, you and your lawyer can enlist the help of knowledgeable forensic experts to find the assets.  As cryptocurrencies fluctuate in value, you will also need the help of experts to appraise the value of your spouse’s crypto holdings.

The laws that determine whether digital assets are separate property or marital property are the same rules that govern any other kind of asset.  If your spouse acquired the digital assets during your marriage, then they are marital property and subject to equitable distribution.  If your spouse acquired the digital assets before you got married, then only their appreciation in value that occurred during the marriage is subject to equitable distribution.  Likewise, assets that one spouse inherits during the marriage are separate property, unless there is a reason to consider them otherwise.  Inheritance of digital assets is a fairly new phenomenon, but if your spouse inherited cryptocurrency, NFTs, or other digital assets during your marriage, then your spouse has the right to keep them and not share them with you.  You can persuade the court to treat your spouse’s inherited property as marital if your spouse deposited their proceeds in a joint bank account or used them to purchase or pay off the marital home.

Contact Peeples Law About Divorce Disputes Over Digital Assets

A Birmingham family law attorney can help you find the marital assets that your spouse does not want the court to know about, digital or otherwise, and convince the court to award you your fair share of these assets.  Contact Peeples Law today to schedule a consultation.



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