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4 unique assets that are easy to overlook during divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce is a complex process, and amidst the emotional turmoil, it’s easy to overlook important financial details. Fairly dividing marital assets is crucial, but some assets can be less obvious than a house or car.

Failing to address property division properly can lead to long-term consequences. If you’re currently going through a divorce, it helps to be aware of unique assets that are easy to neglect during property division.

Intellectual property rights

Intellectual property (IP) rights encompass various creative assets such as patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. These assets can hold significant value, especially for individuals involved in creative professions or entrepreneurial ventures. However, assessing the value of intellectual property and determining the appropriate division during divorce can be complex. If either spouse has created or contributed to developing such IP, it may have value and need to be accounted for.

Retirement accounts and benefits

Retirement accounts like 401(k)s, IRAs and pensions hold significant value and need to be addressed. Depending on the type of account, these assets may be divided through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to help ensure each spouse receives their fair share.

Stock options and employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs)

Stock options and ESPPs granted by employers can hold future value. Though not yet vested (meaning readily accessible), they represent potential future income and should be considered during property division. Agreements can be made to split future gains from options exercised after the divorce is finalized.

Digital assets

The rise of digital assets like cryptocurrency introduces a new layer of complexity. Cryptocurrency holdings in accounts or wallets need to be identified and valued. Similarly, online accounts with accumulated value, like loyalty points or frequent flyer miles, may be considered divisible assets.

Divorce can be emotionally draining, and navigating property division can inspire significant stress. Therefore, it’s best to resist the temptation to go through this alone. Consulting a legal team can help to ensure a fair and comprehensive property division process.