News

Jo Carr-West comments in Bloomberg on how cryptocurrency is impacting divorce settlements

  • February 26, 2018
  • By Jo Carr-West, Partner

Bitcoin Bitterness Starts to Make Messy Divorces Even Worse

Divorces are messy, and cryptocurrencies are helping to make them a whole lot more so.

Virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are a new challenge for lawyers, plagued with volatility and secrecy that is extending the already painful process of dividing a couple’s assets.

The rising popularity of Bitcoin — and for a while at least, its rising value — means more separations involve the currency, which is difficult to trace and hard to value. Although parties have a duty to provide full disclosure of their assets in a divorce, the anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies potentially make them a safe haven for spouses wishing to hide their money from a warring partner.

If one side decides not to disclose or provide evidence of their holdings, the divorce process becomes more expensive and time-consuming, and could result in the partner failing to get a fair share of assets. This can amount to a lot of money in the U.K., which has a reputation of being a more sympathetic place to play out high-stakes divorces, because judges generally order a 50-50 split of assets, giving equal weight to the work of a wealth creator and a partner.

“It’s creating another layer of distrust that we haven’t had to deal with before,” Jo Carr-West, a partner at London-based Hunters, said in an interview. “The public perception that there is a lack of a paper trail causes the anxiety.”

This article was originally published in Bloomberg Technology and can be accessed here.

Related News

Jul 09, 2020
Chambers HNW 2020 – Hunters’ success
Jul 03, 2020
Hetty Gleave comments on the surge in divorce inquiries due to lockdown in the Financial Times
Jun 26, 2020
Henry Hood discusses the use of nuptial agreements to protect family wealth
Jun 25, 2020
Rebecca Christie discusses the rights of unmarried couples in FTAdviser
Jun 24, 2020
Henry Hood examines the valuation of businesses on divorce
Jun 23, 2020
Hetty Gleave discusses the rising trend of cohabitation agreements in STEP Journal
Jun 18, 2020
Henry Hood examines how the behaviour of one spouse in a divorce proceeding has financial consequences in The Times
Jun 17, 2020
Amy Scollan co-authors an article examining Sir Andrew McFarlane’s decision in the case of X v Y and dissolving the wrong marriage in LexisPSL
Jun 09, 2020
Partner and Head of the Family Department, Henry Hood, featured in the ninth edition of The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom
Jun 09, 2020
Partner and Head of the Family Department, Henry Hood, featured in the Spear’s Family Law Index 2020

© Hunters Law LLP 2020 | Privacy NoticeLegal & Regulatory | Cookies Policy | Complaints Procedure

Hunters Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (number 657218)