Illinois residents considering a divorce know that one of the major issues they will have to deal with is dividing up property, but some people are unaware of just how many different forms and types of assets they actually own. In a high asset divorce, there are likely to be a number of complicated items that need to be accounted for well beyond the basic bank accounts and house. It is important that couples are aware of the property they share to be sure that they ask for their fair portion of these assets.
If one or both of the individuals in a marriage is employed, it is possible that there will be benefits from current and previous employers. These are likely to include stock options, 401K retirement plans and deferred compensation plans, all of which are eligible for division during a divorce. Tax refunds and capital gains losses are something else that can be divided when dissolving a marriage. It easy to forget about a pending tax return, and capital losses can be applied to reduce a future tax obligation.
In addition to more obvious financial assets, couples will also to take into account other items like collectibles and fine art. Gifts given to a couple over the course of their marriage are also subject to division, as well as things like country club memberships and frequent flier miles.
Understanding what rights people have to marital assets can help ensure that someone receives an equitable portion of a couple's property. A lawyer with experience in divorce and family law may be able to assist a client in the negotiation and preparation of a property division agreement.
Source: Forbes, "Divorcing Women: Don't Forget These Marital Assets", Jeff Landers, October 16, 2013