My husband and I have drawn up a list of what we own and we have tentatively agreed on how to split everything. I’m afraid we might have missed listing something. Can you help?
As a financial divorce consultant, I often review final property settlements to determine additional tax and financial considerations that should be addressed. Here are some areas that are often overlooked.
- Frequent flyer points
To split these, have free tickets issued in the other spouse’s name, or value the travel benefits and compensate the other spouse.
- Vacation pay
Value accumulated vacation hours based on the spouse’s pay rate. Sick pay for which the employee will be compensated now or later may also be valued.
- Tax refunds
If you file a joint tax return, tax refunds will be sent in both names. Your divorce agreement should split.
- Stock options
If your spouse has the right to purchase the employer’s stock at a bargain price sometime in the future, he can keep the option and give the non-employee spouse an offsetting asset, or they can agree to exercise the option jointly in the future.
- Prepaid insurance
All insurance is paid for in advance, including life, disability and casualty. These prepayments should be considered when property is being valued and divided.
- Magazine subscriptions and professional dues
Discounts are offered for two and three-year memberships and subscriptions, and a spouse preparing for divorce may make substantial prepayments from community funds to avoid future expenditures from his separate funds.
A resort timeshare is often worth less than the amount still owed on it. In that case, the divorcing couple must decide whether one of them will accept it at a lesser value, continue to own it jointly, sell it or let it go into foreclosure.