If your marriage is ending, you probably have many things to take care of, not the least of which is realigning your standard of living with your new financial reality. No matter how comfortable you have been during your marriage, you are certain to face changes in your budget, and much of that will result from the outcome of your asset division.
While you may know that you will be dividing your bank accounts, retirement funds, real property and vehicles with your spouse, have you examined all your belongings to ensure you are not overlooking items of value that may prove to be important factors in attaining a fair division of assets?
Leave no stone unturned
In addition to the furniture, the investments and the shares in your business, you may have assets that will surprise you with their value. While you may be dealing with many emotions as well as legal responsibilities as you go through the process of divorce, you will not want to look back and realize too late that you let go of important property that has worth beyond sentimental attachment, including:
- Memberships, such as country clubs, spas or fitness centers
- Intellectual property, including royalties, patents or copyrights
- Season tickets to North Carolina sporting events or concerts
- Burial plots
- Gold, silver or other precious metals
- Funds in an offshore account
- Valuable bottles in your wine collection
- Bonus points, frequent flyer miles or other loyalty benefits
If you and your spouse own animals, they may be more than pets. For example, horses or dogs that you show, breed or race may have intrinsic value that requires the appraisal of a professional. This may include the rights to future earnings, breeding rights, the value of any frozen semen or DNA as well as the cost of insurance and care. Even if your animals do not have financial value, you may feel it is worthwhile to fight for a pet that is particularly special to you.
If you are facing a complicated and potentially contentious division of unusual or complex assets, you want to be sure you have the right resources available to you. This includes appraisers who understand every facet of a particular asset and a legal professional who understands the intricate issues often involved in a high-asset divorce. With the right team on your side, you improve your chances of obtaining a full and fair share of your marital assets.