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Accounting for all marital property in a divorce

Going through a divorce can be overwhelming, as there are a myriad of topics to negotiate in the divorce settlement. Separating marital property may be one of the most difficult issues to tackle when dealing with divorce. For some, it can be emotional having to part with property and assets that have been amassed throughout years of marriage. Understanding what marital property entails, however, may help the process run smoother and may help to ensure couples receive everything they are entitled to in the final divorce decree.

While many people think of marital property as the family home, vehicles, cars and savings accounts, there are a host of other types of community property that may be eligible for division in the divorce. These include the following:

  • Travel rewards points and exclusive country club memberships

  • Tax refunds and lottery ticket winnings

  • 401k plans, stocks, term life insurance policies and benefits from previous employers

  • Gifts given to one another during the marriage

  • Intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights and trademarks

  • Expensive collections, such as horses, wine, art, antiques, coins or comic books

If either party lent money or property to a third-party during the marriage, each party is entitled to half once it is repaid. This holds true even if the amount is repaid after the divorce is finalized.

Anything purchased during the time of marriage is considered community property and is divisible in the decree. Both parties are responsible for disclosing all property and assets in their possession at the time of the divorce so a fair distribution can be made.



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