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Equitable Distribution of Virtual Assets?

Think you’ve seen some unusual divorce settlements in the United States? A recent judgment out of China might take the prize for the most unusual. In December, a judge in China denied a divorcing woman’s claim that she owned half of the “virtual assets” accrued during her marriage.

According to the Beijing Morning Post, the marriage of a video game-playing couple began to unravel when neither of them would clean up their home. The couple had merged video game accounts under the husband’s name after they married, and were building up virtual assets in the program. Virtual assets, which exist only in cyberspace, can be accumulated by game-playing and reaching certain benchmarks in games. Players need virtual assets in order to play a game at a higher level, to buy extra ammunition for use in the game, or to unlock future levels in the game.

In China, where video games are particularly popular, gamers reportedly sell the points they earn in a game to Westerners who do not have the time to accrue points themselves. In this case, the wife now has to start at the beginning of all of her games again, as her soon-to-be-ex husband would not give her any of the points in their joint game account, nor would a judge order him to do so. What is the moral of this story? If you have a joint account with your spouse, make sure your name is on it.

Contact us today to consult with a Charlotte equitable distribution lawyer.

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