You and your spouse may have decided to end a marriage during which you have acquired significant assets, and you are dreading the property division phase. It is not always necessary to take your differences over property distribution to court. You and your spouse may be able to come to an agreement that will only have to receive court approval, circumventing a contentious battle. To make ending your marriage less difficult and stressful, remember that there are options such as mediation or collaborative divorce that you may want to explore.
Prepare yourself for property division negotiations by making a list of assets. Obviously, your home, bank accounts, investments and other common assets will make the list. Here are six others you may not have considered.
1. Various tickets
Did you or your spouse have a winning lottery ticket at some point during your marriage? The winnings are marital property. Those season tickets to Packers games are also marital property.
2. Travel awards
Have you or your spouse accumulated airline miles due to extensive business travel? Travel reward points mount up, and you should bring up the question of who gets them in the divorce for negotiation.
3. Memorabilia and collections
You may have forgotten about your collection of Madame Alexander dolls carefully packed away in their original boxes, or the vintage baseball cards your spouse collected during your marriage. Items like these may have significant value.
4. Club memberships
Club memberships to country clubs, golf clubs and others are not cheap. The initiation fees are usually hefty and so are the annual dues. Add memberships to your list of assets.
5. Family pets
Pets are considered property, so their disposition must be considered during your divorce. If it is important to you to keep your poodle, let your attorney know that this should be a priority in the settlement.
6. Cemetery plots
Perhaps you and your spouse have side-by-side cemetery plots or the equivalent. Remember that these have considerable value and should be up for negotiation during property division.