In a break, who gets Bitcoin?

Should cryptocurrency gains be included in income to determine child support?

An Ontario court may soon consider the matter and determine whether to include earnings from the cryptocurrency trading in annual income when determining child support.

The Superior Court recently heard the request of a mother who wanted to increase the monthly support payment to 23,800 dollars by evoking the average annual income of the father over five years, which amounts to 3.3 million dollars (M $ ).

According to the ruling, the father argued that his income during the cited period was inflated by one-time capital gains generated by trading bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, and that this should not be included in the calculation of real income to determine alimony.

In fact, he argued that if the court demanded an increase in child support (set before the petition at $ 2,500 per month, in addition to tuition and other expenses), it should be calculated on the basis of the basis of his estimated income for 2020 of $ 750,000 – a value largely taking into account Bitcoin’s liquidation, as his business has been battered.

In its ruling, the court rejected both positions, ruling instead that the father’s income for 2019 – rather than a five-year average or estimate for 2020 – should be used to determine child support.

“I find 2019 to be the most recent income information available,” the judge explains in the reasons for his decision.

Based on the evidence provided by experts from both sides, the court estimated the father’s income in 2019 to be $ 1.225 million.

The court noted that it has the discretion to use an average income established over a three-year period, but it does so only when it is not possible to otherwise determine the “fair” value of the income.

In that case, the court ruled that it was fair to use the 2019 income for a temporary child support claim, and ordered that the monthly support payments be adjusted to just over $ 9,000. dollars.

“While not necessary for my decision, I add that the father’s characterization of capital gains is an important issue,” the judge said. It is best considered at trial in conjunction with the retroactive support claim and the question of the father’s future income. “

The court also ordered a settlement conference to be scheduled by the end of March 2021, so that the case can be heard at trial next year.

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