Eventually couples who split arrive at the day when finances and property must be divided fairly. Marital property is composed of much more than the cash sitting in a savings account or the equity in a home. When the time comes to divide marital property, there are unexpected but valuable items that need to be taken into consideration:
- Travel reward program points – These points translate into future family vacations and should not be overlooked. The accumulation of these points often falls under community property and need to be divided along with the other assets from the marriage.
- Photographs – Now that we live in a digital world, photographs are common place and can be easily duplicated. But older photographs captured on film can be divided and shared too. Be sure to agree on the division of any heirlooms and account for the cost of possible digital reproduction of these pieces.
- Pets – The future home of the family pet needs to be established during this separation. Courts consider pets property not family, but the parties involved probably feel differently. Be sure to clarify your wishes for the future of Fido in the division.
- Cemetery plots and burial plans – If you are in the process of divorce, it is safe to assume that your feelings for your partner have changed drastically since your relationship began. Be sure that your plan for afterlife changes to suit your needs and the needs of your ex.
Of course these items are only in addition to the common elements that need to be evaluated in a settlement like employment benefits, stock options, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, antiques and artwork. An attorney is always your best asset during these negotiations.