Bank accounts, retirement savings, cars, and homes are just a few of the assets you will need to divide during a divorce. These are the main assets you think about when you start going through the divorce process. But what about the other, more unusual assets? There are many more things of value from a marriage that you often don't think about. Not the obvious ones, but assets that hold value to you. It is best to try to figure out what holds importance to you before you start the divorce process. This is a good reason why you need a great family law attorney. Your lawyer may help you discover and divide other more unusual assets that are also important to you. Anything you gained during a marriage is considered "property" and is a divorce asset. That means, all these things acquired during the union can be a part of equitable distribution, defined as: The fair, but not necessarily equal, division of property and debts acquired during a marriage. Below is a list of more unusual items, both tangible and intangible that are often overlooked but can be a part of the property division. Tangible Assets Commonly Overlooked in a Divorce Agreements
- Gifts- An engagement ring is given before marriage so that usually doesn't count. But what about the many gifts given during a marriage? Jewelry, cars, furniture- this can all be divided.
- Pets or other animals - Depends from state-to-state, same states count animals as family and some states count them as property. For example, a full breed dog that is used for breeding may hold some value. Livestock and horses can have significant value as well. Especially if the animals are used for breeding.
- Collections - China, rocks, antiques, and collectibles ...whatever you or your spouse collect could actually hold value. Baseball cards might seem like dime-store fun but they could be worth some real money!
- Family Photographs - It's hard to put a cost on memories. You might want to keep all the family photographs. Sure, we are living in the digital age but getting reproductions can be a costly endeavor. It is worth considering the value of photos.
Intangible Divorce Assets Commonly Overlooked in Divorce Agreements How about items that you can't actually touch but might be worth value?
- Frequent Flyer miles- These can really add up when you travel a lot for work or with your family. With the rising cost of flights, this should be considered a valuable asset if many miles were accumulated.
- Tax Carryovers - You might be privy to a tax write-off that can carry over. You could still get the write-off if you are in the know.
- Patents-Ideas conceived during the marriage may be subject to equitable distribution.
- MP3′s, Digital Downloads of Movies, etc. - Some people spend thousands of dollars on mp3 and digital downloads. If you had to replace your whole music or movie collection it could really add up. Copyright laws can forbid you from sharing music and movies in a digital format so it won't be so easy to share otherwise.
It's best to remember it's not only the obvious stuff that counts in a divorce. Be sure you work with a divorce lawyer that knows the law and is experienced with all assets, not just the obvious. For more information on family law or dividing unusual assets, call the Puhl Law Group, PC at 972-569-3166.