Couples in Florida and elsewhere who are going through a divorce often have difficulties in valuing even visible assets such as financial holdings and real estate. They are advised to remember that some less-obvious items can play an equally important part when it comes to a division of marital property . As property division is often just as important a matter in a divorce as spousal support and child custody, care needs to be taken to ensure that all assets are accounted for.
In addition to jewelry and antiques, collectible items such as wine, stamps, coins and even comic books can have a great deal of value. In general, if something was specifically listed on a homeowner's policy it is likely worth including in the settlement. Items that are often overlooked but that may have some value include country club memberships, cemetery plots and travel reward points. Pets are considered under the laws of many states to be property, and will usually be awarded to the spouse who was the primary caregiver or who has the more flexible schedule.
Gifts made by one spouse to the other during marriage are considered to be marital assets, while such gifts made prior to marriage are separately-owned property. The future repayment of a loan made by a spouse to a third party is also deemed subject to division.
A woman who is facing the termination of a marriage may wish to speak with an attorney who has experience in divorce and family law matters. The attorney may be able to help the client take an inventory of marital assets that will be part of a property division agreement.
Source: Forbes, "Divorcing Women: Don't Forget These Marital Assets", Jeff Landers, October 16, 2013