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Don't miss valuable assets when negotiating a divorce settlement

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when going through a divorce. The process makes you realize just how intertwined your life is with your soon-to-be ex-spouse's. There are so many areas of your existence that are suddenly open to negotiation, including how to divide your marital property. And the more wealth you and your spouse accrued over the years, the more complicated it is to determine a fair settlement.

Of course, when you do an inventory of the assets that are eligible for division, big-ticket items, such as houses, cars and retirement funds will be given prominent attention. But there are other, less obvious items, that also have value. This is why it is important that you take all the time necessary to document every significant piece of marital property for inclusion in the settlement.

The following are some kinds of assets that can all too easily be overlooked when doing an inventory:

  • Intellectual property, including royalty rights, copyrights, trademarks, and patents.
  • Memberships to country clubs, golf courses, and other establishments that require initiation fees and annual dues.
  • Memorabilia and collections of such things as stamps, coins, antiques, and art.
  • Cemetery plots.
  • Points from travel reward programs.
  • Outstanding debts owed by family members or other parties.

Hopefully, looking at this list will help you recognize things in your own life that you want to be included in your settlement negotiations. But it would certainly be understandable if you have trouble accounting for every asset in the household. For this reason, you may want to have a property division attorney help you pursue a fair settlement. An experienced attorney can offer guidance on how to make sure that all eligible assets are accounted for and properly apportioned.

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