With the increasing prominence of virtual technologies, many of us are beginning to live our lives more connected to the internet. From popular services such as Netflix or iTunes, shared files on home computers and even shared gaming accounts people are beginning to form personal connections to their computer activities. Yet, this also means more and more of people’s assets are becoming digital. During a divorce, the issue of how to split these digital assets or how to measure their worth for determining spousal support can be difficult.
For those who continue to keep their personal assets individualized on their computers, this may not be much of a problem. But for couples who seamlessly integrated their technology together, figuring out how to split these assets during a divorce could be much more problematic. Consider the problems, for instance, of determining who is entitled to an online account which was shared equally between the couple.
Issues such as this are increasingly coming into the forefront of divorce proceedings. Since this is fertile ground for divorce courts, rules regarding how to handle digital accounts have not yet been fully fleshed out.
In regards to handling other assets, it can be easier considering the long established history. When considering the welfare of a child or the fairness of an alimony payment, it’s easier to make decisions for property which can be readily valued. But assessing the value of a highly unique and personalized internet account is not as easy done as it is for physical objects.
For anyone involved in a divorce, with or without digital assets, it could be helpful to discuss the division of assets with an experienced divorce lawyer. This may even be more advisable when delving into the issue of ownership over digital content.
Source: Mashable, “Digital Divorce: Who Gets Which Accounts in the Split?” Margaret Rock, Oct. 10, 2012