In recent years, technology has made a huge impact on our personal and professional lives, in areas such as communication, entertainment, finances and safety. Technology has even impacted divorce, as digital and virtual assets are now being included in community estates as they are divided between divorcing parties. In today's blog post, we'll discuss the various types of digital or virtual assets that may be included in community estates during divorce proceedings.
Social Media Accounts and Personal Blogs Can Have Financial Value
Social media accounts and blogs are popular among people of all ages, and a growing number of them have tremendous financial value attached to them. For example, people can earn significant income from advertisements on their blogs, personal websites, online videos, or social media accounts. Well-known online figures have even turned their social media accounts and blogs into lucrative assets, including book deals and merchandising agreements. Any kind of valuable digital asset that is created and developed during the marriage is community property that is subject to division in the divorce.
Who Gets To Keep The iTunes Library?
During a divorce, couples often first decide who gets to keep large and important assets, such as vehicles, family pets, jewelry and furniture. These negotiations eventually include smaller items such as books, movies and music. With the advent of digital media such as iTunes, Kindle books and Amazon movies, many more couples own digital versions, so these assets must also be taken into consideration when documenting shared assets. Due to licensing agreements in place at the time of purchase, these assets usually cannot be copied or shared, so divorcing couples should appraise and divide these digital entertainment assets as well during divorce proceedings. Other forms of digital media, such as family photos and personal videos, may be shared and copied to appease both parties.
Online Membership Rewards Are Valuable Virtual Assets
Many companies like to reward loyal customers with rewards or special benefits, and a growing number of these rewards or benefits are associated with online accounts. For example, all the major airline carriers offer ways to earn airline miles that can be redeemed for future travel. Although these reward miles are intangible assets, they still have tremendous financial value to account holders, so these assets are included in the community estate for division in the divorce case. Likewise, many banks and credit card companies offer rewards or points that can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, or even cash. These digital assets can be very lucrative for account holders, and can often be a point of contention for divorcing couples.
Dividing assets can be a painful and lengthy process for couples in the midst of divorce, and digital and virtual assets can complicate this process even further. Individuals need experienced and trustworthy family law attorneys on their side when they want to protect their digital and virtual assets during a divorce, and Christiansen Law Firm stands ready to help. Christiansen Law Firm offers exceptional legal services to individuals in need of family law representation, including divorce, prenuptial agreements, adoption, guardianship, estate planning, and custody agreements. Christiansen Law Firm has offices in Houston and San Antonio, with a team eager to help clients reach positive resolutions. Contact Christiansen Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation, or go online to request additional information.