Whether your divorce is amicable or acrimonious, the stakes can be high, especially when you and your spouse have a lot of assets.
In Pennsylvania, everything you and your spouse own is typically subject to equitable division, which doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll receive an equal amount of marital assets. But you can cheat yourself out of your fair share if you overlook or undervalue certain items.
What assets might you have overlooked?
The number one thing you can do to make sure that you’re not deprived of your fair share is to identify everything of value. That can include some complex and commonly overlooked items, such as:
- Intellectual property: Patents, copyrights, trademarks and royalties from creative works can hold substantial value. These assets might be overlooked if one spouse is the primary creator or holder of the intellectual property.
- Deferred compensation: Stock options, restricted stock units (RSUs) and other forms of deferred compensation can be complex to value and divide. They may not be immediately apparent if they are not a part of your spouse’s regular income.
- Business interests: Ownership stakes in businesses, partnerships or professional practices are often overlooked, especially if one spouse isn’t involved in the business’s operations.
- Capital loss carryovers: If you have capital losses on your joint tax return that should carry over to the coming year’s taxes, you want to ensure that the carryover’s value is divided equally.
- Country club memberships: Whether your spouse wants to keep the membership or you agree to unload it, that’s a significant investment. It’s a mistake not to treat that as a divisible asset.
- Credit card points or airline miles: In high-income households, these can be worth a significant amount of money – enough to make the balance on the cards pale by comparison.
There’s no question about it: The more you have, the harder it can be to get through a divorce. The decisions you make today can have life-altering repercussions for your financial future. Learning more about how the process works and getting experienced legal guidance can help you protect your interests.