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Mark Abzug

How to divide frequent flyer miles during divorce negotiations

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2013 | Property Division

A comprehensive divorce settlement agreement in Florida should include the valuation and division of all assets that were acquired during the marriage. These assets include everything from homes and bank accounts to baseball card collections and frequent flier miles. The division of marital property should be completed based on the value of the asset although, in many instances, it becomes an emotional battle between the divorcing parties.

One area where emotions frequently crop up is the division of seemingly minor assets like frequent flyer miles or rewards points. The individual who earned the miles or points may feel that the miles or points belong to them as a reward for days spent in airports and nights spent in hotels. However, these miles and points also have value based on the tickets, hotel stays and other items that can be purchased using the points or miles.

The frequent flyer or rewards program terms and conditions might specify whether the points can be transferred or divided between the divorcing spouses. In many instances, the terms and conditions do not permit the transfer or division of points or frequent flyer miles, so the parties must come up with a cash value for this asset. A good strategy for divorce settlement negotiations is to come to the negotiations with a proposed cash value for the points or frequent flyer miles based on a cost analysis of recent airline ticket and merchandise prices.

Divorce negotiations are never routine or easy, and, when emotions become involved, the division of even the smallest asset can become a major hurdle. One of the many benefits to utilizing a divorce attorney during these negotiations is that an attorney may be able to remove the emotional element from the negotiations to ensure that the client receives an equitable divorce settlement.

Source: Forbes, “Divorce: Who Gets The Air Miles?“, Jeff Landers, June 26, 2013