770-953-4300

Digital Assets in Divorce: How Are They Divided?

Date: July 10, 2017 Tags: , , Author: Kevin J. Rubin

With our lives increasingly intertwined with technology, the division of digital assets is an area that shouldn’t be overlooked in a divorce.

Digital assets include any content, such as photos, videos, music and documents, stored on smartphones, tablets, computers or remote servers that make up the cloud.

Part of any divorce is determining how to divide what has been accumulated during the marriage. Digital areas to address include streaming media accounts, digital copies of music, movies or TV shows, personal content, such as family photos and videos, and digital copies of financial documents. Coming to an agreement on how these assets will be handled in the divorce settlement is important, and each issue can be resolved in various ways:

After a couple’s digital assets have been documented, the specifics of how they will be divided can be determined. Who has possession of the files? Who controls access to the accounts and subscription services? How will the digital assets be transferred? Technology provides simple solutions. In the last five years, cloud-based storage has made the transfer and duplication of files much easier than copying files onto physical media, such as hard drives.

A divorce settlement should include an obligation for the parties to share the digital assets defined in the agreement. It’s important to have that in place as a court order, so there’s a legal remedy if a party doesn’t follow through after the divorce.

If a divorcing couple are able to talk amicably, we advise clients to deal with plans to share digital assets ahead of a settlement. You may want to download copies of important files to your devices before the divorce is made final. The division of digital assets may not be foremost on your mind if you’re considering a divorce, but identifying simple solutions early on can prevent lingering frustration.