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Author Topic: My buddy is getting a divorce. Can the court seize half of his bitcoins?  (Read 14089 times)
KyrosKrane
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June 22, 2014, 11:55:59 AM
 #121

Let's say, prior to a divorce, one spouse withdraws a large chunk of cash, goes to Vegas, and at the conclusion of the trip, declares that he lost all the cash gambling. In reality, he socks the cash away somewhere he can retrieve it discreetly after the divorce.

How do divorce lawyers deal with this scenario?  It's pretty obvious, so I'm sure there's a known or standard way to handle it. How would they distinguish it from a guy who genuinely loses the cash, saying, "I would rather gamble away all that money than let her have a dime of it!"

The bitcoin variant would be to quietly buy some btc for cash in Vegas, while playing a little to provide some cover for the purported losses. I'm sure this is all kinds of illegal and would result in serious penalties if caught, but then, how would the lawyers go about investigating this and proving it to the court's satisfaction?

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picolo
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June 23, 2014, 10:02:49 AM
 #122

Let's say, prior to a divorce, one spouse withdraws a large chunk of cash, goes to Vegas, and at the conclusion of the trip, declares that he lost all the cash gambling. In reality, he socks the cash away somewhere he can retrieve it discreetly after the divorce.

How do divorce lawyers deal with this scenario?  It's pretty obvious, so I'm sure there's a known or standard way to handle it. How would they distinguish it from a guy who genuinely loses the cash, saying, "I would rather gamble away all that money than let her have a dime of it!"

The bitcoin variant would be to quietly buy some btc for cash in Vegas, while playing a little to provide some cover for the purported losses. I'm sure this is all kinds of illegal and would result in serious penalties if caught, but then, how would the lawyers go about investigating this and proving it to the court's satisfaction?

You had the money, you wire it, then you say you lost it so you would have to prove you lost it and it could be considered dissipation

http://www.gitlin.com/family-law/non-marital-spouse-spending/
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June 23, 2014, 07:31:01 PM
 #123

I would put it on an exchange switch it to darkcoin and hide it, say he spent it on porn and you have an online titty addiction. Once the trial is over go ahead and exchange it back, take a bite on any lost if darkcoin goes down. (beats losing 50%)

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kingcolex
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June 23, 2014, 07:32:05 PM
 #124

Well, as others have probably stated, bitcoins are considered property in the USA, so I would think that if a judge awarded 1/2 the assets, that would include bitcoin since it is an asset...
Alt coins aren't.... can't he just exchange it until the divorce?

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picolo
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June 23, 2014, 09:05:20 PM
 #125

I would put it on an exchange switch it to darkcoin and hide it, say he spent it on porn and you have an online titty addiction. Once the trial is over go ahead and exchange it back, take a bite on any lost if darkcoin goes down. (beats losing 50%)

That would probably be considered dissipation and he would owe everything he spent

Look at the last link I posted
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June 23, 2014, 09:07:01 PM
Last edit: June 23, 2014, 09:18:27 PM by kingcolex
 #126

I would put it on an exchange switch it to darkcoin and hide it, say he spent it on porn and you have an online titty addiction. Once the trial is over go ahead and exchange it back, take a bite on any lost if darkcoin goes down. (beats losing 50%)

That would probably be considered dissipation and he would owe everything he spent

Look at the last link I posted
How about putting it in escrow for a big miner (say someone on Bitcointalk.org) does this and up and behold they realize there was a delay after delay and return the coins post divorce?

Or say he buys a physical cold storage (coin,cryptocard,paperwallet) transfers it and downloads known viruses and claims hacking. With all the hacking news with bitcoin and a major misunderstanding of tech could work.


( i advise nothing illegal this is all just theories and hypothetical)

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June 24, 2014, 01:18:28 AM
 #127

Let's say, prior to a divorce, one spouse withdraws a large chunk of cash, goes to Vegas, and at the conclusion of the trip, declares that he lost all the cash gambling. In reality, he socks the cash away somewhere he can retrieve it discreetly after the divorce.

How do divorce lawyers deal with this scenario?  It's pretty obvious, so I'm sure there's a known or standard way to handle it. How would they distinguish it from a guy who genuinely loses the cash, saying, "I would rather gamble away all that money than let her have a dime of it!"

The bitcoin variant would be to quietly buy some btc for cash in Vegas, while playing a little to provide some cover for the purported losses. I'm sure this is all kinds of illegal and would result in serious penalties if caught, but then, how would the lawyers go about investigating this and proving it to the court's satisfaction?

Security Cameras + Subpoena + False Testimony = one screwed hubby

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June 24, 2014, 02:43:37 AM
 #128

Let's say, prior to a divorce, one spouse withdraws a large chunk of cash, goes to Vegas, and at the conclusion of the trip, declares that he lost all the cash gambling. In reality, he socks the cash away somewhere he can retrieve it discreetly after the divorce.

How do divorce lawyers deal with this scenario?  It's pretty obvious, so I'm sure there's a known or standard way to handle it. How would they distinguish it from a guy who genuinely loses the cash, saying, "I would rather gamble away all that money than let her have a dime of it!"

The bitcoin variant would be to quietly buy some btc for cash in Vegas, while playing a little to provide some cover for the purported losses. I'm sure this is all kinds of illegal and would result in serious penalties if caught, but then, how would the lawyers go about investigating this and proving it to the court's satisfaction?
The opposing attorney could and likely would look for additional proof above his "word"

Casinos easily track their patrons and how much they are up/down 
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June 24, 2014, 02:40:06 PM
 #129

Casinos easily track their patrons and how much they are up/down 

They do? And isn't there a hostload of illegal joints, bookies and dealers where there are no receipts and/or control?

How about: I took all the money out in cash, because I'd rather gamble it away than let that bitch get it, then I went to Las Vegas, and I lost some 10K at Casino Royale (provable), then I went for a drink in a bar, where I met a gentleman who invited me to a private high stakes texas holdem party, and I got really drunk and lost the whole lot.

How could it be proved that the cash still exists? Would the judge rule that the man has to pay half of what he had prior to the trip? What would the difference be in reality whether a business slowly drained money away or if you lost it all in a moment of foolishness? The end reality would be that it was all lost permanently.

Perhaps the phrase 'I'd rather gamble it away than give it to the ex-wife' wouldn't go well with the court, but I can think of a number of other scenarios where a man could "reduce" his net worth without the money being lost forever.

I would think such cases could be really hard to investigate. Don't you need very hard proof the money still exists?
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June 24, 2014, 07:48:49 PM
 #130


Perhaps the phrase 'I'd rather gamble it away than give it to the ex-wife' wouldn't go well with the court...


Exactly. If a man took money out of the bank (community property in most states) and then lost gambling, the judge could decide to offset that in the asset distribution of the divorce. If the judge were especially unhappy with this kind of behavior it could really backfire.

Gentlemen, if your are single, put you money in cold storage wallets BEFORE you get married. Wish I would have known about bitcoin in 2011  Undecided




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June 24, 2014, 07:59:49 PM
 #131

You could gamble it all away, but you still owe the money. That is because it is not your money, it is your ex-wife's money.

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June 24, 2014, 10:33:19 PM
 #132

The whole problem is that he was acting in bad faith as he turned assets into BTC. Even is the law is not the same, the judges all over the world do not like this kind of behaviour. At the end it does not matter if he was buying gold or BTC.
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June 25, 2014, 12:00:57 AM
 #133

Casinos easily track their patrons and how much they are up/down 

They do? And isn't there a hostload of illegal joints, bookies and dealers where there are no receipts and/or control?

How about: I took all the money out in cash, because I'd rather gamble it away than let that bitch get it, then I went to Las Vegas, and I lost some 10K at Casino Royale (provable), then I went for a drink in a bar, where I met a gentleman who invited me to a private high stakes texas holdem party, and I got really drunk and lost the whole lot.

How could it be proved that the cash still exists? Would the judge rule that the man has to pay half of what he had prior to the trip? What would the difference be in reality whether a business slowly drained money away or if you lost it all in a moment of foolishness? The end reality would be that it was all lost permanently.

Perhaps the phrase 'I'd rather gamble it away than give it to the ex-wife' wouldn't go well with the court, but I can think of a number of other scenarios where a man could "reduce" his net worth without the money being lost forever.

I would think such cases could be really hard to investigate. Don't you need very hard proof the money still exists?
You can make up any story/scenario but in order for it to be accepted the Judge would need to accept it.

A business slowly draining the money away is much more audit-able then one foolish mistake. It is also something that would be caused by a bad economy/market (something out of his control) as opposed to one foolish mistake is caused by poor judgment.

Unless he had made one very good investment it is likely that he has a substantial amount of income that would generate and grow his wealth to get it to be where it was before it was "gambled away" so he could simply have more of his earning taken (or possibly garnished) if his assets were to "be lost in a bad bet" 
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June 25, 2014, 12:52:14 AM
 #134

You could gamble it all away, but you still owe the money. That is because it is not your money, it is your ex-wife's money.
What if you were to gamble it away when the marriage was falling apart beyond repair but divorce had not been brought up yet?

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June 25, 2014, 11:49:23 AM
 #135

Casinos easily track their patrons and how much they are up/down 

They do? And isn't there a hostload of illegal joints, bookies and dealers where there are no receipts and/or control?

How about: I took all the money out in cash, because I'd rather gamble it away than let that bitch get it, then I went to Las Vegas, and I lost some 10K at Casino Royale (provable), then I went for a drink in a bar, where I met a gentleman who invited me to a private high stakes texas holdem party, and I got really drunk and lost the whole lot.

How could it be proved that the cash still exists? Would the judge rule that the man has to pay half of what he had prior to the trip? What would the difference be in reality whether a business slowly drained money away or if you lost it all in a moment of foolishness? The end reality would be that it was all lost permanently.

Perhaps the phrase 'I'd rather gamble it away than give it to the ex-wife' wouldn't go well with the court, but I can think of a number of other scenarios where a man could "reduce" his net worth without the money being lost forever.

I would think such cases could be really hard to investigate. Don't you need very hard proof the money still exists?

That would be considered dissipation at best if it happens after the marriage having been irretrievably broken down

You could gamble it all away, but you still owe the money. That is because it is not your money, it is your ex-wife's money.
What if you were to gamble it away when the marriage was falling apart beyond repair but divorce had not been brought up yet?

It would be usually be considered dissipation as well so you would owe half the money you lost to your ex-wife

You can create a situation where you can argue that it is not dissipation with a reasonable chance to convince the judge but most of the time if you gamble the money after the marriage have been irretrievably broken down, it would be considered dissipation

In some cases you could argue that the marriage wasn't irretrievably broken down when you gamble the money away and that your wife knew you were a gambler and didn't do anything to stop you
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June 25, 2014, 12:17:31 PM
 #136

The whole problem is that he was acting in bad faith as he turned assets into BTC. Even is the law is not the same, the judges all over the world do not like this kind of behaviour. At the end it does not matter if he was buying gold or BTC.
Bitcoin is known and has some laws regarding it but alt coins do not and a major law will not be implemented over a civil divorce case, if he is trying to hide his funds Bitcoin is not the way to do that probably darkcoin is.

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RodeoX
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June 25, 2014, 04:54:52 PM
 #137

You could gamble it all away, but you still owe the money. That is because it is not your money, it is your ex-wife's money.
What if you were to gamble it away when the marriage was falling apart beyond repair but divorce had not been brought up yet?
I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is that dissipation would then be the issue. (as mentioned above). It would be quite a risk and not very sensible. You would go from giving half of your coins away to giving them all away and still having a bill to pay.

The gospel according to Satoshi - https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
Free bitcoin in ? - Stay tuned for this years Bitcoin hunt!
picolo
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June 25, 2014, 07:03:57 PM
 #138

The whole problem is that he was acting in bad faith as he turned assets into BTC. Even is the law is not the same, the judges all over the world do not like this kind of behaviour. At the end it does not matter if he was buying gold or BTC.
Bitcoin is known and has some laws regarding it but alt coins do not and a major law will not be implemented over a civil divorce case, if he is trying to hide his funds Bitcoin is not the way to do that probably darkcoin is.

When the marriage is irretrievably broken down, you will be reliable for the money you spent that is not beneficial or commun for the household, buying darkcoin would be the same as hiding cash
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June 25, 2014, 08:24:29 PM
 #139

The whole problem is that he was acting in bad faith as he turned assets into BTC. Even is the law is not the same, the judges all over the world do not like this kind of behaviour. At the end it does not matter if he was buying gold or BTC.
Bitcoin is known and has some laws regarding it but alt coins do not and a major law will not be implemented over a civil divorce case, if he is trying to hide his funds Bitcoin is not the way to do that probably darkcoin is.

When the marriage is irretrievably broken down, you will be reliable for the money you spent that is not beneficial or commun for the household, buying darkcoin would be the same as hiding cash
So..... try to reconcile for a long enough term to change it to darkcoin and then file for divorce?

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ShakyhandsBTCer
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June 26, 2014, 04:56:22 AM
 #140

The whole problem is that he was acting in bad faith as he turned assets into BTC. Even is the law is not the same, the judges all over the world do not like this kind of behaviour. At the end it does not matter if he was buying gold or BTC.
Bitcoin is known and has some laws regarding it but alt coins do not and a major law will not be implemented over a civil divorce case, if he is trying to hide his funds Bitcoin is not the way to do that probably darkcoin is.

When the marriage is irretrievably broken down, you will be reliable for the money you spent that is not beneficial or commun for the household, buying darkcoin would be the same as hiding cash
The fact that it was "irretrievably broken down" at any one point in time can be disputed, and while it may be easy to say that with 20/20 hindsight vision, it would be difficult to say that with certainty in the present
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