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Digital assets in the property division process

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Community Property Division

As we move our lives more-and-more online, our divorces become more and more digital as well. This means that the property division process must deal with our digital assets too. For some, this could mean just splitting up the family Facebook and Instagram pages. For others, it could mean splitting digital cryptocurrency wallets and separating entire digital businesses.

Non-monetized social media

Often, families share social media websites, even if those social media websites are not monetized. This can make communicating family milestones and events much easier than individually contacting friends and family. It also makes sharing family photographs much easier and more equitable. However, when there is a Carlsbad, California, divorce, who keeps the family social media?

The answer is likely that the couple will share the photographs. The social media will be shut down or one spouse will take over and operate it as their singular, not family, account anymore. Alternatively, if the spouses can remain amicable, they can still maintain the family social media to keep friends and family abreast of their children’s milestones. This will need to be worked out by the couple themselves or decided by the judge, if they cannot make the decision themselves because this is a digital asset.

Digital assets

Just like hard assets, couples accumulate digital assets over the course of their marriage too. These include NFTs (non-fungible tokens), cryptocurrencies, digital real estate (Second Life, Metaverse, etc.), tokens, MMORPG items, etc. All of these intangible digital assets have real-world tangible value.

That value can vary wildly, even minute to minute. This is why a Carlsbad, California, expert is usually needed, if a couple has a large digital asset portfolio. This independent third party can help get a current value and help project future value of the portfolio.

Digital income

Another common digital asset in the property division process is digital income. Of course, many people have businesses that have an online component, but many are transitioning to an influencer income model and generating money by selling themselves rather than items or services.

This can be complicated to split because these types of influencer businesses are difficult to apportion and classify as separate, marital or hybrid, especially if it is a family business. This too may require a local independent accountant or third-party auditor.