When you file for divorce or legal separation, there are a myriad of issues that must be negotiated before creating the final settlement. Property division may be one of the most difficult topics to approach, as you may have developed a strong attachment toward some of the possessions you have accumulated during years of marriage. All property and assets that were amassed during the time you were married are considered marital property and are eligible for division in the divorce. It is critical that you understand what marital property is so you can be sure to get everything you are entitled to in your settlement.
Marital property, also referred to as community property, is more than just the family car, home and bank account contents. There are some lesser known marital items that you should be aware of, including the following:
Travel rewards points and other membership benefits
401k plans, stock options, retirement plans and term life insurance policies
Exclusive country club and golf course memberships
Expensive collections, such as art, coins, antiques, cars and horses
Intellectual property, such as trademarks, royalties, patents and copyrights
Any gifts you and your spouse gave to one another during the marriage are considered marital property as well. Furthermore, if one party loaned money or property to a third-party during the marriage, the other party is entitled to half of that property or money once it is returned. This holds true even if the property or money is returned after the divorce is finalized.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.