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What happens to my digital assets in divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2024 | Property Division

The division of property as part of divorce has always been a complex task. Today, in our increasingly digital world, valuable assets aren’t just physical things like real estate, cars and jewelry. Understanding how digital assets are handled in a Wisconsin divorce is essential for protecting your property rights.

In Wisconsin, a community property state, assets acquired during a marriage are typically split equally. This includes digital assets, meaning things that exist on the internet or the hard drive of your computer or other device. Both parties must disclose all assets, and this transparency is crucial when it comes to digital possessions.

Crypto and digital currency

Cryptocurrency is a big part of the division of digital assets. Crypto is no longer a fringe investment, and there is a good chance you or your spouse owns some. But it can be a challenge to track and value in a divorce, especially if your spouse was in charge of the finances. If you suspect your spouse has cryptocurrency that they have not told you about, crypto trading apps on their phone or tablet could be a clue, along with unusual activity on your joint bank account statements. Income tax returns may also reveal gains from digital currencies.

As with any major community property, you must know what a digital asset is worth before you can divide it between yourself and your ex. Valuing cryptocurrency can be tricky due to its volatile nature compared to traditional investments like stocks and bonds. One option is simply to split it in half, though whether that is best for you depends on your particular situation.

Dividing social media and online subscriptions

Other digital assets have more emotional than financial value. Social media accounts, streaming services, and digital music libraries are often shared between couples, making them harder to divide when the marriage ends. In many cases, it’s impossible to split a single account like Spotify. You might need to negotiate who keeps the account and how to compensate the other party.

Sentimental digital media such as photos and videos can be copied, allowing both parties to retain these memories without a physical division. When it comes to shared login credentials, creativity is necessary. You could transfer music and playlists to new accounts or agree, for example, that one person keeps the Spotify while the other takes the iTunes account.

Finding fair solutions for your digital property

Dividing digital assets requires a fair and creative approach. With the right guidance, couples can find equitable solutions that reflect the value—both monetary and sentimental—of their digital lives. Remember, the goal is to emerge from the process with a sense of balance and readiness to start anew.