How Are Digital Assets Divided in Divorce?
As digital technology becomes more commonplace, assets are beginning to take up space in the digital realm. For many individuals, these digital assets can have sentimental and financial value.
In any divorce, the division of property is a key issue. Digital or physical, all assets must be divided before finalizing a divorce.
If you’re going through a divorce, knowing what digital assets are and how they’ll be accounted for is important as you navigate this legal process.
What Are Digital Assets?
Nowadays, almost every married couple in Michigan owns or shares some type of digital asset.
Although not tangible, these assets are still seen by the courts as real property. Some common digital assets include:
- Websites and domains
- Online businesses
- Video games
- Music and video collections
- Cloud storage and streaming accounts
Though you might think these types of assets can’t be divided or transferred in a divorce, they can.
Before your divorce is finalized, you and your spouse will have to agree on how to split or share your digital assets.
The Process of Dividing Digital Assets
Depending on the asset itself, the division could be as easy as making a duplicate copy of the files for you and your spouse.
Nonetheless, how you’ll divide digital assets will need to be specified in your divorce agreement. If you cannot solve this on your own, it will be up to a judge’s discretion.
Some digital assets like online stores and businesses can be treated like their physical counterparts. The same equitable distribution laws that apply to a physical business would likely apply to a digital business under Michigan statutes.
If you share media accounts for music and video streaming, video games, or cloud sharing, division might pose a challenge.
In cases like these, each party might have to establish its own account after the divorce.
Because of their nature, cryptocurrencies may be difficult to divide, but several simple approaches can help streamline the process.
Cryptocurrencies are volatile, and it’s often hard to determine their real value. Fortunately, they can be cashed in for legal currency at any moment.
As a result, it’s often easiest for spouses to trade in their shared digital money for legal tender and proceed from there.
If you’re having trouble negotiating the division of digital assets with your spouse, it’s wise to consider a collaborative divorce or mediation before moving forward with litigation.
Reaching a friendly agreement can save you substantial time and money. By dividing assets in agreement, you avoid the court having to make difficult decisions.
Although the majority of digital assets may have only sentimental value, there are real financial implications when it comes to online businesses or digital currencies.
Negotiating alongside your spouse will be the best course of action to take.
Worried About Your Digital Assets in a Divorce?
Gucciardo Family Law is experienced in settling divorce and family law matters throughout Oakland County and the Detroit metro area.
If you’re worried about protecting your digital assets in a divorce settlement, consult with us today.
Our team of talented and passionate divorce attorneys will review your case and fight for the best possible outcome.
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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.