There are some kinds of property that are obvious to divide in divorce, such as the house, savings account and belongings. Many couples, however, own more assets and debts than they might realize. All of which may be subject to property division.
Divorce could call attention to every aspect of your finances and all property you have accumulated in your lifetime. With a full picture of your marital and separate finances, you could have a better chance to get fair divorce results.
Know the true extent of your estate
A few of the less obvious financial matters include:
- Retirement accounts and pensions
- Employment benefit plans, such as life insurance policies
- Business interests in a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship
- Other investments, such as individual stocks and index funds
- Patents, brand assets and other forms of intellectual property
- Valuable collections and special items, such as artwork or jewelry
- Financial obligations, such as debt
It is important to identify and evaluate every asset during the divorce process. Forgetting or omitting certain property in divorce could lead to financial and punitive consequences. Make sure to record all property properly.
Accurate appraisal is essential
New York courts rely on the value of debts and assets to determine each spouse’s divorce award. However, if the court believes that an asset is worth much more or less than it really is, one of the spouses could face a disadvantage.
Spouses may own both tangible property, such as vehicles and cash, and intangible property, such as investments. For both types of assets, you may need the help of legal and financial experts to determine their value. Your divorce attorney can assist with complicated property division matters.