Going through a divorce or legal separation can be daunting, especially when it comes time to divide the property and assets that have been accumulated throughout the marriage. This can be an emotional process, as people often become attached to certain possessions. It helps, however, to understand what constitutes marital property so you can ensure you receive everything you are entitled to in the divorce settlement.
Marital property involves more than just the family home, cars, furniture and bank account contents. When negotiating property division, you may want consider the following:
Valuable collections, such as art, antiques, coins, cars and books
Intellectual property, such as copyrights, trademarks and patents
Lottery ticket winnings and income tax refunds
Photographs and other keepsakes
Exclusive golf course and country club memberships
Term life insurance policies, retained earnings, stocks and 401k plans
Travel rewards points and cemetery plots are considered marital property as well. Furthermore, any gifts spouses give one another during the course of the marriage are considered marital and may be divided. If you or your spouse lent money to a third-party during the marriage, you are entitled to half of that amount once the amount is repaid. This holds true even if it is returned after the divorce is finalized.
While the court may determine who gets what in the final settlement, you may be able to negotiate an alternate plan with your spouse. When you negotiate the terms of the settlement, you may be able to come up with a plan that better fits your unique situation.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.