Splitting Income-Generating Digital Assets in Divorce

If a digital asset has been monetized, it could be part of divorce negotiations. A monetized digital asset could be ad-click revenue received from an owned domain name, blog or electronic storefront. Another example is an annual blog subscription. Consider what information is needed to analyze an income-producing blog.

  • Who started the blog? (One spouse or together?)
  • When was the blog started? (Before or during marriage?)
  • Did the other spouse contribute to the blog? (Posting, editing or advancing it?)

If the blog started before the marriage, and the creating spouse primarily maintained it, it may be considered premarital property. However, if the other spouse put time and effort into the blog, the associated value may become an asset for consideration in the separation agreement.

If the blog started during the marriage, the value would likely be split between spouses. I haven’t performed a blog valuation, but I presume it would consist of an income approach where a capitalization rate would be applied to a normalized cash flow.

Income-generating assets are becoming more common in marital estates. Keeping creation and business records on these assets, as you would in a traditional business, will make division of assets easier during divorce.

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Julia is a director in BKD’s Forensics & Valuation Services division. She focuses on forensic accounting, fraud investigation, litigation support services and business valuation. With nearly 20 years of public accounting experience, Julia has gained a substantial background in both audit and tax services.

She has extensive experience in forensic services and litigation support. She has successfully worked with complex risk assessments and public corruption investigations, misappropriation of assets and fraudulent financial reports in a variety of industries, including health care, manufacturing, transportation, real estate, IT consulting, government and not-for-profit. Julia performs valuations for transactions, litigation, restructuring, marital dissolutions and income tax-related purposes.

Julia Mast – who has written posts on BKD Forensics.


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