Entering into a divorce without adequately assessing what assets you share is a common yet unfortunate mistake. Married couples who have been together for years likely accumulate many shared valuables, including real estate, items in the home, savings accounts, and so on. You also will need to resolve shared responsibilities and obligations prior to getting divorced. Take stock of all you have accumulated together and keep the following in mind prior to your divorce.
Don’t Overlook These Shared Assets When Getting Divorced
Prepare wisely by making a comprehensive list of all common assets you’ll need to consider dividing when getting divorced. Ten sometimes overlooked marital assets that can be divided when getting divorced include:
Valuable Collectibles and Keepsakes
Take inventory of all the items you’ve collected over the years. Those collections created as a hobby may be worth more than you know. Review your homeowners’ insurance policy and take note of any individual belongings that have coverage. These are likely of considerable value. Add them to your list of potentially divisible marital property. Some things to include would be stamp or coin collections, comic books, baseball cards, antique furniture or collectibles, or artwork.
Company Benefits from Previous Jobs
Consider any benefits that might have carried over from past employers. Some of these may include company retirement savings accounts such as 401Ks and benefits pension plans, stock options, restricted stock endowments, and plans for deferred compensation from previous jobs. When getting divorced, you may only think to look at your spouse’s current job benefits. Don’t forget those that may have carried over from the past.
Find Any Capital Loss Carryover
Check old tax returns to see if there is any capital loss carryover. On the off chance that capital losses surpassed capital gains, and was more than the allowable deduction for one year, this loss may carry over for future years. A capital loss is a way to reduce tax liability. If it occurred during your marriage, your divorce attorney should address this issue in your settlement.
Loans Payable to Either Spouse
If you or your spouse loaned a sum of money out to another person or business during the marriage, the repaid funds belong to you both. Make a note of this income at the time of your divorce.
Regardless of whether or not you care for membership in a golf course or country club, the fees are usually quite substantial. Plan to divide universal memberships or spouse-only memberships as joint marital assets.
Gifts Between Husband and Wife During the Marriage
It may seem cold to want half of the value of a gift you gave to your spouse, but legally you may be entitled to it. Anything you gave each other before your wedding day is not divisible, yet anything given during the marriage is.
Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents
Intellectual property acquired or created during the marriage is considered marital property and is likely divisible at divorce time. It probably qualifies as a shared asset even if the creation was only the work of one spouse.
Did that scratch off pay off? It doesn’t matter who bought the ticket or what the circumstances were. If you or your spouse won the lottery during the marriage, you were both winners. Add this to your list of divisible marital assets.
You probably won’t want to spend eternity with your ex. Burial plots are valuable pieces of property. If a burial plot was purchased during your marriage, plan to divide the value when you get divorced. This would include tombs, mausoleums, single plots, and family cemetery plots.
The money you and your spouse get back on your taxes is also subject to division. This, of course, depends on the time of year your divorce proceedings are taking place. The situation becomes even more complex if your divorce takes place over the next several years.
Don’t Forget About Family Pets
Even though you may consider your pets family members, most states view pets as marital property. Some pets do have monetary value, but this is difficult to receive compensation for in most cases. You can’t divide a pet. Likewise, it is highly unlikely that a judge would order you to sell your beloved pets. However, you could set up joint custody arrangements or specify which spouse is better able to give the pet(s) the attention and care they deserve. Try to make compassionate, fair choices regarding who gets to keep the cat, dog, or other pets.
Choose the Best Divorce Attorney to Help You Divide Your Assets
Getting divorced can be painful and overwhelming. Susan T. Perkins, Attorney at Law will help you navigate the divorce process and prepare yourself for a bright future. For a free consultation regarding your Rhode Island, Massachusetts or Connecticut divorce, call today at 401-PERKINS.