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.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Loading
SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
Steps to Take If Quarantining Is Straining Your Marriage

How to Make Sure Your Marriage Survives the COVID-19 Quarantine Marriage is rarely easy and requires spouses to work at it to ensure that the union thrives and survives. In the U.S., the average length of a marriage is approximately eight years, which means to remain together for a longer period of time a continual…

Read More
Blog
My husband left me and I don’t know where he is. Can I get a divorce?

My husband left me and I don’t know where he is. Can I get a divorce? This blog originally appeared on NJMoneyHelp for NJ.com by Karin Price Mueller on June 15, 2020. Q. My husband left me two years ago and I have no idea where he is. We own our house together and an…

Read More
Blog
COVID-19’s Impact on Family Law

I was recently quoted in a New Jersey Law Journal article about COVID-19’s impact on family law. The article is entitled, State Court Filings Drop 20% as Judges, Lawyers Cope with COVID-19 Disruptions. While the article discussed court filings statewide, my quotes focused on New Jersey’s Family Division. The article says that Family Division filings…

Read More
Blog
There is No Community Property in New Jersey

There is no community property in New Jersey. Said differently, the concept of community property is not a recognized legal concept in New Jersey divorce cases. In New Jersey, the division of property amid a divorce falls under principles of equitable distribution. All marital assets get equitably distributed in a New Jersey divorce. Among these…

Read More
Blog
Practicing Law During COVID-19

Jeralyn Lawrence, Founder and Managing Partner of Lawrence Law, took place in MyShingle.com’s interview series – Pandemic Law Practice: How 14 Solo & Small Firm Lawyers Are Serving Clients and Keeping the Wheels of Justice Turning. Click here to hear the interview. A couple of highlights from Lawrence’s interview regarding client issues Custody and parenting…

Read More
Blog
The Goal of Divorce

The main goal of divorce is to reach an agreement with your spouse. The terms of the agreement are memorialized, in writing, in a Marital Settlement agreement. This agreement is also known as a Property Settlement Agreement. A very high percentage, meaning almost all, divorce cases settle. In other words, a very small percentage of…

Read More
Call Now ButtonCall Us