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When a couple is going through a divorce, one of the many issues that need to be addressed is the division of assets and property. These assets make up the marital estate. Most people think that means bank accounts, retirement accounts, the family home, and vehicles. However, there are some items that are part of the marital estate and subject to the division that many people do not even consider when they are divorcing. The following is a brief overview. For more detailed information about your situation, contact a skilled divorce lawyer.
Many people have collections – artwork, stamps, comic books, books, vinyl records, wine, musical instruments, and more. Some collections are more valuable than others, however, no matter what the value is, that amount is subject to asset division of the marital estate.
The digital age has dramatically changed how we store photos, watch movies, read books, listen to music, and more. All of these things have now become digital assets that are stored in digital format. There are also multiple streaming services that people have.
When a couple is divorcing, a major question is how are the digital assets they own divided. Although some can be duplicated, many cannot. Their value then becomes part of the marital estate.
Hotel Points and Frequent Flyer Miles
Many couples end up collecting hotel points and frequent flyer miles and these are also assets of the marital estate. Splitting these points up may depend on the rules of the company that issue the points – some companies will willingly divide the points up between the couple. If not, then a dollar value will need to be assigned to the points.
Whether it is for your favorite sports team, theater, or other events, if you and your spouse are season ticket holders, the value of those tickets is an asset of your marital estate. The question then becomes, how are they divided?
One option is each spouse gets a ticket, but depending on the relationship the two have, sitting next to each other at future events may not be something either one of them want. Another option is for one spouse to purchase the other spouse’s ticket, however, this can be more complicated, depending on the rules of the organization that sells the tickets and the current and/or future value of the ticket.
Income Tax Refunds
One often overlooked item is a tax refund. This often arrives in the year following the year the couple divorces, so you will want to make sure this refund is addressed in your divorce.
Pending Personal Injury Settlements
If one of the spouses is involved in a personal injury claim, this is something that the other spouse could argue should be part of the marital estate. If this is your situation, make sure to let your divorce lawyer know of this pending litigation.
All of these different items often become part of the bartering negotiation of the division of assets that divorcing couples must agree to. If you are going through a divorce, make sure you have a skilled divorce lawyer who will protect your rights to a fair share of the marital estate.
Thank you to our friends at Robinson & Hadeed for the information about divorce.