During a divorce, besides children, the parties' assets are typically the basis for the most heated disputes. For instance, parties often argue over their respective interests in the marital home, retirement benefits, or business profits.
However, property doesn't have to be particularly valuable to create conflict, and some divorcing spouses are surprised by the items that cause problems during the equitable division of assets. Anecdotally, our attorneys recall past clients who argued over ficus plants and frozen lunch meat.
While bologna may not undo most litigants, there are plenty of property items (less obvious than retirement benefits) that can cause disputes. For example:
- Perks - Think of some of the perks you have acquired during your marriage. Think about your credit card points, airline miles, and loyalty programs. You might also have gym or country club memberships that you share. Due to the exclusive nature of these assets (and the work it may have taken to acquire), they can create conflict when it comes time to divide them.
- Sentimental items: Property with sentimental value can hold considerable emotional attachment, which is why they can be difficult to divide. The parties may both be unwilling to part with a specific item, or one person may make unreasonable demands if they know the other person wants to keep it.
- Digital property: Digital property like music libraries, monetized social media accounts, and cryptocurrency may be intangible, but they can create very real problems for divorcing spouses. When it comes to these assets, it can be a challenge to secure access, assign value, and divide them in a way that is fair and makes sense.
- Unusual property: Some people have unusual property to divide. They might own intellectual property, animals, or timeshares that complicate a traditional division process. The parties may need to consult specialists and find creative ways to divide the item (or value) fairly.
Property division can be a complicated process regardless of the actual value of the property. However, with an understanding of how division works and the help of legal and financial professionals, it can be easier to pursue a fair and reasonable outcome. and to lessen or avoid disputes.