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Barring access to the cloud? How to divide digital property

When many people in Cobb County think of divorce, they don't consider how to deal with digital property. Though few people have sizeable assets in digital property, it is becoming an increasingly common concern in property division. What do you do, for example, when you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse share considerable data and property in a cloud? Who gets what and how do you decide?

Just like with dividing physical property, many people in Georgia turn to their divorce lawyers to figure out who will get what in a divorce. Though it may take some time, a family law attorney can work to figure out the approximate value of the different digital pieces of property, ensuring that his or her client can get a fair amount of the marital property.

For some, digital property will play a huge part in property division decisions. This is, in part, because more couples are sharing things like music or movies that are stored electronically. For example, imagine a couple had created a large music library from Amazon.com, Inc. or had started a book collection on a Kindle. When it comes time for a divorce, how will that be divided equitably?

Even for the people in alternative universe games, there is a growing concern about digital property. In 2010, a virtual nightclub was sold for $600,000 in a world that used actual currency to transact virtual business. Had that nightclub been originally purchased during a marriage, it could have been considered marital property, requiring the same sort of division that a physical business or piece of property would require.

It is not surprising that digital property division is becoming such a hot topic in divorces in Georgia and across the country -- most people don't go a day without using some kind of technology.

Source: Mobiledia, "Digital Divorce: 'Til Tech Us Do Part," Margaret Rock, July 16, 2012

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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Marietta, GA 30060

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