Going through a divorce can be stressful. On top of emotional, family and social issues, people going through divorce processes are often dealing with a wide variety of legal forms and requirements. During property division negotiations, it can be easy to overlook some of the more obscure items of marital property.
Some assets may not look like assets at first. Club and social memberships, for example, can be tied to a monetary amount. If one person uses the membership more than another, then negotiating a “buy out” of the membership may be something to consider, particularly if the association charges a large entry fee or lifetime memberships have been purchased. The same holds true for things such as season tickets to music or sporting events.
Common financial assets that are often overlooked include benefits from a previous employer and capital loss carryovers. Reviewing a few years of tax forms can help divorcing spouses understand the financial picture of the marriage, and may help identify forgotten or obscure accounts, refunds and tax benefits that can be shared.
Couples who purchased adjoining cemetery plots or made other joint burial arrangements may want to consider such assets during a divorce. Sometimes, the assets can be sold and the proceeds split between both parties.
Another asset to consider is intellectual property. Royalty rights, trademarks, copyrights and other business or personal intellectual property will need to be considered. It can be difficult to divide such property, which is why seeking third-party assistance can be helpful.
Some individuals feel that bringing up every asset during property division may seem petty. However, there is nothing silly about protecting your future and the future of your children or heirs.
Source: Forbes, “Divorcing Women: Don’t Forget These Marital Assets” Jeff Landers, Dec. 03, 2014