Going through a divorce can be emotional and overwhelming. On top of starting a new chapter in life, there are many issues that couples must tackle when drafting a divorce settlement. For many couples, dividing the marital property that was accumulated during the marriage may be one of the most difficult tasks. Not only is it hard to part with certain items, but each party must come to the table ready to disclose all martial property and assets that they have. From there, the judge can determine who is entitled to what or the couple may choose to mediate division of property on their own. Either way, it is important to have a full understanding of what marital property entails so that items and assets are not missed.
In addition to family homes, vehicles and furniture, marital property includes items that are often overlooked. These include the following:
- Lottery ticket winnings, tax refunds and travel reward points
- Collections, such as art, antiques, cars, coins and wine
- Term life insurance policies, 401k plans and stocks
- Intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights and trademarks
- Exclusive golf and country club memberships
If one spouse loaned money or property to a third-party during the course of the marriage, the other party is entitled to half of that property once it is repaid. This holds true even if it is repaid after the divorce is finalized. Even gifts that spouses gave to one another during the marriage are considered marital and may be divided in a divorce settlement.