Safeguarding Digital Assets with a Prenuptial Agreement
Although entering into a prenuptial agreement isn’t always seen as the most romantic or hopeful way to start a marriage, the reality is that these types of contracts are one of the best ways that a couple can avoid potential difficulties with dividing marital property or paying spousal support in the future. This is especially true when it comes to digital assets, which can be safeguarded in a prenuptial agreement that details how such assets will be divided in the event of divorce or death. If you have questions about the fate of your own digital assets or other separate property after marriage, please contact a member of our dedicated prenuptial and postnuptial agreement legal team today for assistance.
What are Digital Assets?
Defining what qualifies as a digital asset can be difficult, especially because technology continues to evolve. However, there are certain types of property that don’t have a tangible quality, but that may have economical or sentimental value, that clearly fall under the category of a digital asset. Such assets include:
- Audiovisual media;
- Emails; and
- Computer files.
Many digital assets have purely sentimental meaning, while others have a greater monetary value, such as stored media, intellectual property, or electronic accounts. In other cases, digital assets actually act as a link to tangible assets, such as shopping accounts and online banking.
One of the best ways to protect digital assets after marriage is to enter into a prenuptial agreement before the wedding, in which the parties agree to maintain individual ownership of the property in the event of divorce. In fact, prenuptial agreements can be used to determine the fate of not only existing accounts, but also of assets that are not yet in existence. Provisions related to digital assets can be centered on the specific needs of the parties by stating which assets will remain in the possession of each spouse and which will be divisible.
These contracts can also be used to regulate how certain assets will be maintained during the course of the marriage itself. For instance, one spouse may be granted control over an account, while the other is only permitted to have access to it. Finally, prenuptial agreements can be used to assign a specific value to a piece of property, or to require that the spouse who won’t receive ownership of the property be compensated in other ways. In most cases, the value of digital assets is based on how much value the spouses actually invested in the property.
Creating an Inventory
One of the first steps that a couple should take when planning for the disposal of digital assets is to create an inventory of them, which should include:
- Financial accounts;
- Financial management accounts;
- Social media accounts;
- Emails; and
- Media storage.
The inventory should also be updated regularly to ensure that new accounts, devices, and additions are taken into consideration.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
To discuss your options for protecting your own digital assets after marriage, please contact dedicated Fort Lauderdale prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today.