Divorce can bring on a rush of emotions and leave a person going through the process not thinking clearly. There is so much to think about that many assets may be overlooked. Both spouses are legally required to be upfront about their assets. Although there are often cases in which a spouse purposely hides assets, some items are quite simply forgotten when it comes time to divide up everything in a divorce.
Where to Begin with Property Division
Most people probably have no problem coming up with a list of assets and debts that will have to be split in their divorce. On the asset side, think bank accounts, the family home, cars, and investments. On the debt side, think mortgages, loans, and credit cards. These can be split evenly, or couples may have different ideas for who will get what. An experienced divorce attorney can help you iron out a fair deal in your divorce and can assist in making sure you do not forget about any other valuable items that you may be entitled to.
Take Note of The Following Oft-Forgotten Assets
- Retirement Funds: Besides checking and savings accounts, many people have 401(k)’s or other types of investment funds through their places of employment. Members of couples who have been married a while may be able to lay claim to part of their soon-to-be-ex’s retirement accounts.
- Collections: Some collect wine, coins, jewelry, or even cars. Chances are, your combined assets have gone into building said collections, so even if you do not want to take half of the collection, you may be entitled to half of its monetary value.
- Valuable Gifts: Watches and rings, large TVs, vehicles, and other gifts given during the marriage legally belong to both of you. In addition, even if something belonged to only one of you prior to the marriage, if you added his or her name to it during the marriage, it could be considered marital property.
- Photographs and Items of Sentimental Value: These must also be divided or copies made when possible, even if they have little to no monetary value.
- Intellectual Property: Products or ideas that were trademarked, copyrighted, etc., during the marriage must be split, including any income that may come from them in the future.
- Winnings or Loan Repayments: If a spouse wins money or valuable items in a contest, on a lottery ticket, at a casino, or by other means, during the marriage, it has to be shared. The same goes for repayments received from loans given by the couple, or either member of the couple, during the marriage.
Seek Legal Counsel in Your Divorce
The above list may only scratch the surface of all the possibilities for assets that could be overlooked in the midst of divorce proceedings. An experienced Elmhurst divorce attorney can help you sort through any belongings or debts you may have and work out a fair settlement. Call 312-605-4041 to set up a free consultation.