Blog

Is technology making it hard to find money in NJ divorces?

In some New Jersey divorce cases, one party may use technology to hide or move money.  The good news is that there will almost always be a trail that can be traced.

Cyrptocurrency

The use of cryptocurrency to conceal assets is a concerning trend. According to Wikipedia, “A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets. Cryptocurrencies use decentralized control as opposed to centralized digital currency and central banking systems… Bitcoin, first released as open-source software in 2009, is generally considered the first decentralized cryptocurrency. Since the release of bitcoin, over 4,000 altcoins (alternative variants of bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies) have been created.”

Simply put, cryptocurrency is digital money. One party purchases cryptocurrency and then uses it to buy goods and services.  Alternatively, people hold cryptocurrency until it increases in value. People trade cryptocurrency from their virtual wallet to another’s virtual wallet. Without getting into the technology, the point is that cryptocurrency is becoming a more common way for people to move and hide money.

Venmo

Another technology that people are using to conceal assets is the use of apps like Venmo. According to the Venmo website, “Venmo allows you to pay and request money from your friends. At its core, Venmo provides a social way to pay your friends when you owe them money and don’t want to deal with cash. For example: Splitting a lunch bill, Paying your friend half of a cab fare, Sending your roommate your half of the rent.” Or, moving money to a friend to hide it from your spouse. The friend then cashes in the transfer and gives the money back.

Gift Cards

One of the most common tricks is the purchase of gift cards. One party takes cash from a marital account and buys gift cards.  The party spends gift cards the same way as cash.  I have seen cases where thousands of dollars’ worth of cards are purchased and then used to support the person’s lifestyle. This is essentially the same as stealing cash from the other party. The most commonly purchased gift cards are Visa, American Express, and store cards.  Most times, there is a way to find out where and when the cards were purchased, and spent.

As you can imagine, it can be difficult to locate the “paper trail” through these technologies.  Because of the difficulties involved, I often need to bring in a forensic accountant to help track down assets and some accountants even specialize in the area of cryptocurrency. Monitor bank accounts for suspicious activity.  Keep records of all transactions.  Pay special attention to high quantities of smaller dollar amounts. These records may be the smoking gun that will be needed to find your assets.

If you have any questions, please contact me at jlawrence@lawlawfirm.com.

Back to Blog
SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
What Happens When an Ex-Spouse Breaks the Marital Settlement Agreement?

In 2020, it was estimated that 39% of marriages ended in divorce. If you are someone who went through divorce, you may be struggling with a spouse who fails to abide by your marital settlement agreement. They may fail to make payments for alimony, for example, or they may fail to pay their part of…

Read More
Blog
The Dangers of Being Too Nice in a Divorce

You Can Be Too Nice in a Divorce Ninety-five plus percent of all divorce cases will settle without a trial. However, that does not necessarily mean that each spouse ends up with a deal that gives them everything they want. There is such a thing as being too nice when you settle your case and…

Read More
Blog
How the Best Interests Test Works

The Best Interests of the Child Test in New Jersey The concept of best interests of the children actually comes from a United Nations Convention, and it’s applied in all states. Beyond that, many people don’t know what it means. Below is an explanation of the test and how it is used in New Jersey…

Read More
Blog
Are Divorces Actually Becoming More Civil Because of the Pandemic?

Is the Pandemic Changing the Way That People Divorce? Only about 2-3 % of divorce cases end up going to trial. However, even among the 92-98% that avoid a court hearing, there is often rancor and bitterness that plague the relationship between the spouses. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused at least some change that…

Read More
Blog
Main Dispute in a Divorce is Often Custody and Parenting Time
Custody and Parenting Time Often in a divorce, the main area in dispute is custody and parenting time of a child.  Litigants can spend months of their lives and thousands of dollars fighting over their child. There are two different types of custody - legal custody and residential custody.  With regard to legal custody, there... Read More
Blog
Important Factors to Consider When Planning for Post-Divorce Life Amid the Pandemic

Will COVID-19 Change Post-Divorce Finances? Under normal circumstances, soon-to-be ex-spouses need a roughly 30% increase in income, on average, to maintain the same standard of living they had before needing a divorce law firm. However, we are no longer under normal circumstances. The pandemic is further complicating financial pictures for individuals planning for their post-divorce…

Read More
Call Now ButtonCall Us