If you’re going through a divorce in Georgia and you’re looking at property division as part of your settlement, you may need to consider your digital assets.
Technology devices are becoming important in a growing number of divorce settlements these days, as are things like Flickr and iTunes accounts. Additionally, divorce settlements can also include Twitter followers, virtual goods and avatars that are used for gaming. Just a few short years ago, these types of assets would never have been a consideration, but now they’re the subject of fights and squabbles that sometimes have to be settled through mediation or even in court.
One of the most specific and problematic areas for property division where digital assets are concerned is virtual goods. Second Life, Farmville and many other online games allow you to spend actual money to purchase virtual items that can only be used in the game. These can include pets, real estate, clothing and other things. These goods are completely intangible, but that doesn’t stop divorcing couples from arguing over who should receive them.
Part of the debate about who gets these items is that they can often be converted back to currency in the real world, and they can also be sold to other players. People often make money this way. Virtual goods purchased while a couple is married can be viewed as shared marital property, and the worth of those items can really vary depending on who is asked the question.
As virtual property becomes more common, the subject of who gets it in a settlement will continue to be a subject for debate and, in some marriages, intense negotiations.
Source: Mashable Lifestyle, “Digital divorce: Who gets which accounts in the split?” Margaret Rock, Oct. 10, 2012
- Our ever-expanding high-tech world has resulted in material changes across a wide spectrum of areas, including, as noted in this blog post, property and marital assets. We invite readers to visit our Alpharetta, Georgia, Property Division page for information concerning this topic and our asset division practice area.