One of the first steps in asset division during a divorce is listing all the assets in the couple’s possession. The discovery process, a procedural phase of divorce, can help you do this. During discovery, the divorcing couple exchanges information on their incomes and assets. They obtain documents like employment records, bank statements, credit card statements, and more. Discovery is often exchanged through the help of each person’s attorney.
Divorcing couples also often generate a balance sheet that contains an inventory of their assets and liabilities. Some assets come to mind quickly, such as houses, cars, cash, and insurance policies. However, people easily forget other assets in a high-asset divorce. If left out, they may cause future conflict and confusion.
Here is a list of assets people commonly forget in a divorce that you should pay attention to.
Stock Options & Restricted Stock
Corporations can award their employees with stock options or restricted stock. Stock options allow an individual to purchase a share of the company’s stock at a predetermined price for a defined period. Restricted stock helps motivate workers to help the company be successful. The stock usually comes with conditions and restrictions.
These restrictions typically involve a vesting period. That means the owner can’t sell or transfer the stock until the vesting period expires. In Minnesota, stock options and restricted stock can be marital property. Their division during a divorce is complex. Our divorce lawyers can help you with this analysis.
Capital Loss Carryover
The sale of certain investments or property may lead to a loss. A capital loss carryover is a tax provision. It allows taxpayers to use such losses to reduce their taxable income in a future tax year. That means the loss can help offset any taxable gains in a future tax year.
In a divorce, a capital loss carryover can significantly benefit the receiving spouse. Dividing the tax benefit in a divorce can get complicated. Talk to a lawyer for legal assistance in dividing capital loss carryover.
Collectables are things like art, antiques, stamps, and coins. Generally, they are items of sentimental or great monetary value. So, ensure you pay attention to collectables when listing assets.
Parties typically divide all marital property, including collectables, equitably. That means fair division but not necessarily equal division. Parties are free to agree on how to split up their collectables. Some pieces may hold emotional or sentimental value while others hold economic value. If parties cannot agree on their own, an expert can help determine the value of collectables during asset division.
Digital currency is a currency that exists only in digital forms, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. Because digital currency often holds value, it can and should be allocated in a divorce.
The market for digital currency is evolving and will probably grow in the coming years. So, the asset is quite valuable. However, it’s easy to overlook digital currency during divorce agreements. A divorce lawyer can ensure that you list this digital asset in the balance sheet.
Frequent Flyer Miles and Credit Card Rewards
Frequent flyer miles can help with cost savings. You can exchange the points for free flights, upgrades, or other rewards. Depending on the airline, you can divide the frequent flyer miles with the other party in a divorce.
Like frequent flyer miles, credit card rewards can help you save money as well. You can use them to get discounts on future purchases, gift cards, or travel. Credit card rewards obtained during a marriage are marital property. That is true no matter which spouse earned them. Points or miles on a joint credit card are typically considered marital property and can be divided in a divorce.
As you deal with a divorce, it’s easy to forget jewelry during asset division. It is common knowledge that jewelry can be quite valuable and expensive. An expert can examine jewelry and tell you its value.
You might have a pre-marital claim if you got a piece of jewelry before getting married. Couples sometimes choose to sell jewelry that’s marital property and divide the proceeds. You can discuss your options for dealing with jewelry with a lawyer.
In Minnesota, bonuses can be marital property. Thus, bonuses that either party earns during the marriage may be subject to equitable division during a divorce. The list includes bonuses from work, investments, or other sources. The court will consider certain factors when deciding on the division of bonuses.
Consult With an Experienced Divorce Attorney
Divorce can be a difficult process. Thus, it’s vital to seek the advice of an experienced divorce attorney. A lawyer can help you identify assets you may have forgotten to include. They can also give more guidance on equitable asset division. Contact us today for help with your divorce agreement to ensure that nothing goes wrong.This article contains general legal information and does not provide legal advice. For legal advice, please contact M. Sue Wilson Law Offices directly.