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Some assets easily overlooked in high asset divorce

When a husband and wife decide to split up after many years of living together, it can quickly turn into a very difficult process. After years or decades of cohabitation, the line between "yours" and "mine" becomes blurred to the point of invisibility, and often both spouses have a very strong emotional connection to certain possessions.

Given the amount of time the couple has spent together, these divorces often qualify as high asset divorces. A high asset divorce is a separation that involves a great deal of assets that the couple has accumulated during their time together. They often involve a great number of disparate and complex assets that must be considered and distributed.

Dividing the assets is a key part of the divorce process, but it can be difficult to account for everything in a high asset divorce. Experts say some key items are often overlooked.

Gifts given to one another during the marriage, for example, are marital property and thus subject to the division process. Even if a gift was intended to be used and enjoyed by the other spouse, it may represent a significant asset that deserves consideration in the divorce.

Collections and memorabilia, too, should be considered in the divorce. Though only one spouse may want the collection, it may represent a significant source of spending during the marriage and an important store of the couples' wealth.

Finally, couples should also consider club memberships when planning the separation. Membership in a country club often comes with a large one-time buy-in, along with monthly payments to maintain the membership. As such, that membership could represent a significant marital asset.


Source: 
Forbes, "Divorcing Women: Don't Forget These Marital Assets" Jeff Landers, Oct. 16, 2013

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