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

SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
Equitable Distribution of Negative Equity

  The factors that must be considered by the court for purposes of determining equitable distribution of assets and debts acquired during marriage are identified in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.1. Items included for purposes of equitable distribution are: marital properties vehicles bank accounts stock options retirement accounts mortgages credit card debts automobile loans any other assets and…

Read More
Blog
Extreme Higher Earning Parent – No Increase in Support

  Child Support with an Extreme Higher Earning Parent – In a recent New Jersey appellate division case of Ianniello v. Pizzo, the appellate division upheld the trial court’s denial of the custodial parent’s request to increase child support.  The non-custodial parent was paying $10,000 per month.  The custodial parent sought a $65,000 per month…

Read More
Blog
A Final Restraining Order Does Not Have to be Forever

  In a recent post, I wrote about the best ways to defend against a Final Restraining Order (FRO). However, unfortunately, it is not always possible to successfully defend against the entry of an FRO.  Therefore, defendants need to know the serious consequences associated with an FRO.  They also need to understand that “final” does…

Read More
Blog
Restraining Order Violations are Serious Crimes

  A restraining order is a powerful tool to protect victims of domestic violence.  The purpose of a restraining order is to avoid future communication or contact between two people.  This holds true for as long as the order remains active. A person who makes contact will be held in contempt of the restraining order. …

Read More
Blog
Domestic Violence – Defending Final Restraining Orders

  Domestic violence is a pervasive problem throughout the United States. The State of New Jersey is no exception to this ongoing dilemma. Accordingly, the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (“the Act”) has been enacted and is intended to act as a shield for domestic violence victims. Unfortunately, there are times where matrimonial litigants instead…

Read More
Blog
A Penalty Provision in the Marital Settlement Agreement

  In New Jersey divorces, marital settlement agreements include language that addresses the ramifications if either person breaches any provision of the agreement.  Often, the agreement includes a penalty provision that requires breaching party to pay the other’s counsel fees if the matter requires court intervention.  More often than not, courts have largely ignored such…

Read More
Call Now ButtonCall Us