Marital property includes more than the family home

For some marriages, divorce is inevitable. Over half of all marriages end in divorce in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who are going through the often complicated process may find themselves faced with a myriad of issues to negotiate in the final divorce settlement. One of the most complicated is division of property.

Many people find it hard to part with assets and possessions that they have gathered during years of marriage. In some cases, people may be unaware of all the types of marital property and as a result, may not receive some of the property they are entitled to in the divorce settlement.

In addition to the family vehicles, home and furniture, there are several other marital items may go unnoticed. These include the following:

  • Lottery ticket winnings
  • Season tickets to sporting events, opera/symphony and theater
  • Frequent flier miles or travel reward points
  • Membership to exclusive golf courses or country clubs
  • 401k plans, retirement accounts, stocks and term life insurance policies
  • Intellectual property, such as copyrights, trademarks and patents
  • Income tax refunds

Any gifts the couple gave to one another during the marriage are considered marital as well and are eligible for division. If one spouse loaned money or property to a third party at some point in the marriage, each spouse is entitled to an equitable or equal amount of the property or money once it is repaid. This holds true even if the couple is no longer married once the amount is repaid.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.