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Which marital property and assets are often overlooked?

Divorce necessarily means that both spouses must look at their finances and figure out what will become of their property and assets. Dividing marital property can be complicated anywhere in the country, including in Missouri. The final resolution will likely have a great effect on both parties' financial footing, which is why they should be aware of all of their assets before property division.

Considerable types of properties and assets are often overlooked by divorcing individuals. First among these are benefits from previous employers, deferred compensation, retirement accounts and restricted stocks and stock options. These can be divided during divorce. A second overlooked item of property is a cemetery plot, if one or both spouses has made plans for burial. Often, both parties have previously made a decision to be buried in the same plot. This frequently changes once the couple divorces. The lot may have significant value and should be included in any settlement. The third type of overlooked assets includes memorabilia and collections with substantial value. Antiques, books, art, coins and comic books may be collecting dust in storage, but they could have significant value and should not be disregarded by the parties.

The fourth overlooked area is intellectual property. Royalty rights, patents, copyrights and trademarks may generate money in the future, which is why negotiating with the other party is important; property division of intellectual property will allow each spouse to have his or her fair share in the future if these properties end up generating money later. The fifth overlooked area includes lottery tickets and any proceeds from gambling. If a winning lottery ticket was bought during a marriage, the winnings will be divided between spouses.

Property division can be simple if both spouses understand the property division decisions that must be made. They can face the divorce alone or with the assistance of knowledgeable legal professionals who can help them move in the right direction.

Source: Forbes, "Divorcing women: don't forget these marital assets," Jeff Landers, Oct. 16, 2013

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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