Don’t Overlook Important Assets In Your Divorce

QuestionMy 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?

AnswerAs 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
    AirplaneTo 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
    StockIf 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.
  • Timeshares
    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.

Comments

  1. I think my husband is planning to divorce me and as of right now show no money in the bank at all. This isn’t right. i had to go to the pawn shop two days ago and pawn some gold chains I had but noticed my diamonds earrings gone. He won’t let me see his pay checks and a couple months ago came home telling me he was fired, but then he said he and his boss worked out agreement and he was staying there a few more months. That his boss just wanted to do some of the things my husband was doing but it seems to me my husband is doing the exact same job. I know my husband can come and go as he pleases with his job. He goes to work an hour early he says to keep himself caught up because he says it’s a demanding job. My husbands been in same line of work (auto sales) 40 years. I am starting to think otherwise. We refinanced our house and it’s just showing him as borrower on house loan but us as husband and wife. CURRENTLY I’M A HOUSEWIFE. I have been one over ten years. What’s going on do you think? I have no friends to talk to about this. I prefer professional advice. Can you forward my comment to someone who can help me? I would appreciate that very much. thank you

    • I don’t know what’s going on. That would be a good question to ask your spouse, preferably in a setting with a counselor who is trained to help open a constructive dialogue between the two of you. We don’t have sources for referrals, but perhaps you can get a referral from someone that you trust.

    • A valuable tool to use to uncover assets and income is to look at your previous 5 year tax returns. Your accountant should be able to provide these to you if your spouse is unwilling. This will show both earned income and investment income. I would also get copies of statements from your bank. Hopefully the account(s) are in both of your names, if not, then you will have to subpoena the bank for copies during the divorce proceedings.

      In regards to the jewelry, you need to lock up whatever is left or put it in a safe deposit box that is solely in your name. There isn’t much recourse in retrieving what has been taken unfortunately since jewelry or any hard assets for that matter are not titled property aned possession is 9/10ths of the law.

      I hope you found this helpful and good luck.

  2. from the post above “We refinanced our house and it’s just showing him as borrower on house loan but us as husband and wife. CURRENTLY I’M A HOUSEWIFE. I have been one over ten years”
    can someone explain what does it mean if the husband is the only name on the loan for the house but not hers.
    Thanks

  3. I am 55yrs old woman who finally got up the nerve to file for divorce from a Narcissistic husband who physically, emotionally and verbally abused me while having numerous extramarital affairs with women he would meet on online dating websites, I happen to find a photo on the home computer of my husband with a caption that read above his picture saying “DO YOU WANT A HUNK”, that he used as his photo on dating websites. I knew when I finally got up the nerve to divorce this man he would fight me in a nasty court battle and he did. I recently went to the doctor and after several mammograms a mass was found in my breast and I’m awaiting to see if I will have to undergo a Mastectomy. The two days I spent in divorce court were the worst two days of my life as his lawyer made a mockery of me, but most of all making a mockery of my medical condition in front of the court calling it a horse and pony show, I cried like I have never cried in my life, I just wanted to walk out of the courtroom, but I had to sit and listen to this lawyer as he made me out to be someone I’m not, one lie on top of another lie, things just went downhill from there. I left the courtroom in a state of shock, every muscle in my neck and back hurt me and now I am left waiting to hear the final outcome on the Judges decision on how our marital assets will be divided. My husband makes over 6000 a month while I try to survive on less than a 1000 a month, since I was forced into early retirement when my company downsized. In time I had to flee the family home due to domestic violence and somehow my husband has managed to hide his 401k valued over 200,000, it simply just vanished, along with money he claims his buddy gave him to take to Vegas to gamble for him? weird over 35000 on one occasion then many more large sums of money were again transferred from his buddy checking account to my husbands checking account. Even my lawyer said it appears to look like money laundering my husband and his out of state friend are involved in. I went through the process of inquiry having his financial documents subpoena but he somehow was able to explain away everything. Our home is in both our names and he even wants the house, the furniture and our timeshare. Plus he receives a substantial pension from the military and I have ask for a portion of his retirement which would help me survive as I grow older. This man has accused me of adultery when it was he who has committed the adultery, I worry in a small town courtroom if justice will be served or will I just be another woman who was kicked to the curb and left to live a life of poverty. I depend on food stamps, have gone to a Christian outreach medical centers for medical help while he dropped all of my medical insurance without telling me, even dropping my car insurance without my knowledge causing me to be fined by the State of Georgia. I feel like I’m living in some backwoods town where women have been stripped of any rights when it comes to divorce. My attorney being an officer also in the military came to my defense after hearing my story offered to represent me in court and be allowed to pay him once the divorce is settled, a great man and a good husband and his wife is also an attorney, but they are from the city of Atlanta where things are different, in a small town you might as well be back in the 1800′s women have no rights in divorce court. I just hope and pray the Judge who seems to be a fair Judge see’s through the lies and the good ole boy lawyer unethical methods used in court. I feel as if I’m on pin’s and needles as I wait to hear the outcome of my financial future, I worked all during our marriage so my income was our primary source of money coming in for many years, now as I live in a relatives basement away from all the domestic abuse from my husband, I worry what will become of me. Sadly the domestic abuse was allowed to spill over into the courtroom as my husband used the courtroom as a battery ram to try to wear me down. Once my husband was the man of my dreams many years ago, but the dream turned into a nightmare over the course of our marriage. I just want to find peace in my life and live without the fear of being abused. Women in the South still lack the support from the community. I hope to volunteer helping those who have been in an abusive relationship, letting them know domestic violence is not ok and that it can happen to women from all walks of life.

  4. natalie says:

    Your story brought tears to my eyes, and just know that Everyone does pay for what they do, even if they think they can get away with it, there is a God and vengeance is his:).. I am so happy to be divorcing my narcissistic husband too, right now, they are so good at hiding who they are. Way to go, girl! :)

  5. I am currently divorcing my narcissistic husband, one of our significant issues was his not paying his taxes, we file married filing separately because of this, every year I would cave and find a way to pay them, we do not go to court for a few more months and he is going to owe several thousand dollars in federal taxes and he has falsely claimed residency in another state that doesn’t have income taxes and now the state we actually live in is coming after him for tax evasion for the past four years and several thousand dollars owed to them.. I’m concerned that he will try to make me be responsible for his taxes through the divorce settlement because some of his income went through our joint account. We were only married 4 years…….. 4 years too long, it was a complete con job! I owned my home and business before he ever came along and he is trying to take those too. He has never worked since we were married, he conned me into some investments and only put his name on them…….that is his income, meanwhile I work two jobs

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