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Dealing with digital assets in a prenuptial agreement

Colorado couples may be interested in a growing trend that involves premarital decisions about digital materials acquired during marriage. A prenuptial agreement offers a couple a means of determining how assets will be distributed if a marriage is terminated. However, today's assets can include digital property such as photos, music and other online accounts and items. Those who are known as public figures may need to take steps to protect social media accounts, websites and other assets related to their brands.

Experts recommend taking stock of existing digital accounts and assets prior to marriage. An extensive effort to locate and document these assets is wise. It is also important to discus these assets and one's interests and concerns. Having a professionally written prenuptial agreement created to include these digital properties is recommended for those who are particularly active in digital settings or who use digital assets integrally in personal or professional matters.

Although a prenuptial agreement may not need to be implemented, it is helpful in keeping pre-marital assets distinguished in case a divorce does occur. A family lawyer may be helpful in guiding the process of taking an inventory and discussing the existing and potential digital properties to be considered. Because divorce is typically not the desired outcome in a marriage, achieving an amicable settlement can be difficult. The use of a prenuptial agreement streamlines this process through clarification of agreed property division plans. Additionally, working with a lawyer may prove helpful in establishing guidelines for managing independent or professional digital assets during the course of a marriage.

Without an agreement in place, dispersal of digital assets such as photos could become complicated. However, a family law attorney may be able to assist in proposing strategies for fairly dividing these properties upon termination of a marriage.

Source: WBTV, "A digital prenuptial agreement", Kristen Miranda, July 16, 2014

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