Property division: Did you overlook these assets?

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Going through a divorce is one of the most emotional and difficult things anyone can face. When it comes to the division of assets, many New Jersey couples focus on the obvious and overlook the less obvious. An example is couples who did a lot of traveling. They might have thousands of dollars worth of accumulated frequent flyer points, which can be split by sharing the value or by the spouse owning the points issuing free travel tickets in the name of the other spouse.

Deciding what to do with resort timeshares could be challenging, and in many cases, there is still a substantial amount outstanding, which could be a significant financial burden for one spouse. Other options to consider include continuing joint ownership, selling it or letting it go into foreclosure. Vacation pay could be another source of funds to share. Some companies allow employees to cash out their sick and vacation leave. Both spouses can find out about this option from their HR departments.

Prepaid life, casualty and disability insurance are often overlooked during the division of property, and in many cases, one spouse has prepaid insurance of which the other spouse is unaware. Tax refunds form part of assets to be divided, regardless of whether the couple filed together or separately. Something for which to look out is prepaid magazine subscriptions. One spouse might take out a two- or three-year subscription on a magazine using marital funds to avoid the expense later. The other spouse might be entitled to compensation for a share of that expense.

Division of assets might be daunting, but help is available. An experienced New Jersey divorce attorney can look at the client’s unique situation and make sure no asset is overlooked. A lawyer will also know how to look for assets that the other spouse might try to hide.

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