Don’t Overlook Important Assets in Your Divorce

Question

My husband and I have drawn up a list of what we own and we have tentatively agreed on how to split everything. I’m afraid we might have missed listing something. Can you help?

Answer

As a financial divorce consultant, I often review final property settlements to determine additional tax and financial considerations that should be addressed. Here are some areas that are often overlooked.

Frequent Flyer Points
To split these, have free tickets issued in the other spouse’s name, or value the travel benefits and compensate the other spouse.

Vacation Pay
Value accumulated vacation hours based on the spouse’s pay rate. Sick pay for which the employee will be compensated now or later may also be valued.

Tax Refunds
If you file a joint tax return, tax refunds will be sent in both names. Your divorce agreement should split.

Stock Options
If your spouse has the right to purchase the employer’s stock at a bargain price sometime in the future, he can keep the option and give the non-employee spouse an offsetting asset, or they can agree to exercise the option jointly in the future.

Prepaid Insurance
All insurance is paid for in advance, including life, disability and casualty. These prepayments should be considered when property is being valued and divided.

Magazine Subscriptions and Professional Dues
Discounts are offered for two and three-year memberships and subscriptions, and a spouse preparing for divorce may make substantial prepayments from community funds to avoid future expenditures from his separate funds.

Timeshares
A resort timeshare is often worth less than the amount still owed on it. In that case, the divorcing couple must decide whether one of them will accept it at a lesser value, continue to own it jointly, sell it or let it go into foreclosure.

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