The division of assets in divorce can be contentious. Who gets the home? How will the retirement accounts get divided? What may happen to the family business?
While these examples represent some of the more common issues that surface when dividing assets, certain assets may get overlooked. They may be an afterthought, or each spouse makes assumptions as to whom will get to keep them.
Tax refunds and season tickets
Among some of the overlooked items include:
- Pets: Your dog or cat was a member of the family, so this may turn into a contentious legal battle.
- Tax refunds: Typically, tax refunds are marital assets even if the couple filed separate tax returns.
- Memberships: Your family has benefited through years of memberships to country, tennis, swimming and horse-riding clubs. You likely purchased shared to ensure membership.
- Sports and event tickets: Who gets the beloved season tickets to St. Louis Cardinals games? Or season tickets to orchestra, museum and other arts-related events?
- Frequent flyer miles: Those miles have accumulated from business trips along with the many international and domestic travels taken during your marriage.
- Collectibles: This category, too, may be a sore point as items such as jewelry, rare coins, wine, sports memorabilia and luxury cars may prove valuable.
- Storage units: Long forgotten mementos and even valuable items may be harbored in rental storage units. Another issue: If you choose to retain the storage unit, you will have to agree on who will pay for it in the future.
- Digital assets: This includes social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but also digital photographs and important documents that may include bank account records and cryptocurrencies.
Make sure to know about these overlooked assets and seek your fair share of them.
Be realistic; keep, split or sell
If you can come to an agreement on how to divide the assets without interference from a judge, that represents a positive step. But in many divorce cases, that may not be realistic. The judge may decide, or you and your estranged spouse may just have to sell the assets in question and split the proceeds.