On paper, the process of dividing assets in divorce does not seem too complicated. You and your spouse make lists of the assets you own, and then the court either approves your ideas for how to divide them or tells you what to do if you and your spouse can’t agree.
In practice, things get far more complicated. Your spouse could try to hide assets, for instance, or you could find that they fight you on every step of the division process. One other issue that may come up is just when you overlook assets that you own and forget to either disclose them to the court or fight for your fair share.
Keep a close eye on these assets
Exactly what couples own is unique to each relationship, naturally, but you can consider some of these commonly-overlooked assets to help you get started:
- Digital assets, such as movies, books, music and video games
- Certainly types of savings accounts, such as a 529 plan for a child’s education
- Investments, especially when one spouse does all of the investing
- Money stored in old accounts, safe deposit boxes, etc
- Cryptocurrency, which may be bought and held online
Additionally, people often under-value assets they do know about. For instance, if you’re not sure if a painting is worth $100 or $10,000, it’s wise to have an appraisal done so that you do not leave substantial assets behind.
If your divorce gets messy and complicated, it’s important to learn as much as you can about property division and all of the other steps you will need to take.