Taking Stock of Your Marital Assets

If a divorce is pending, marital property will be a major part of it. Not everyone is aware of what marital assets are, however. Some assets may be obvious, but some are more uncommon. Also, some things you might assume are assets are not marital assets at all. To help you make a list of your marital assets for your lawyer, read on for some guidance.

Marital Assets and Separate Property

Not everything you and your spouse own is considered marital assets. The items that do qualify as marital assets are used to determine the property settlement agreement. The value of such assets might also figure in the determination of spousal support (alimony) and more. Below is a list of assets that fall into the separate property bucket instead of the marital asset bucket:

  • Property owned prior to the date of the marriage.
  • Property won or gifted to a party after the date of the marriage.
  • Property inherited by one party after the date of the marriage.

Performing the Asset Inventory

Your divorce lawyer may ask you to make a list of property. That helps the lawyer to determine the value of the settlement and also provides them with an idea of the complexity of the divorce. Make a complete listing of anything of value. You can leave out small value items, however. The following are common marital assets:

  • Homes, vacation homes, rental properties, etc.
  • Cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, boats, etc.
  • Life insurance policies.
  • Precious metals, cash, coins, bonds, stocks, and jewelry.
  • Banking, savings, retirement, and investment accounts.
  • Furniture, artwork, collectibles, antiques, etc.

Don't Neglect These Assets

Common assets like the ones above aside, some items might fall outside your notice, perhaps because they don't hold your interest. Don't make the mistake of failing to list an asset just because you don't intend to ask for it in the divorce. All assets can be used as trades for things you do want. Some of the below are often neglected assets:

  • Pets, livestock, and other animals.
  • Sentimental family memorabilia, like photographs or video footage.
  • Burial plots and final arrangement plans.
  • Tax refunds due in the next year.
  • Money owed to one of you through an outstanding loan.
  • Memberships to athletic facilities, country clubs, etc.
  • Business interests.
  • Patents, royalties, copyrights, trademarks, etc.

The way marital assets are divided depends on the laws in your state, Speak to a divorce lawyer to find out more about this issue.

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