In a typical divorce, couples will be forced to divide assets such as homes, bank accounts, cars, and other physical property. While it can be emotionally difficult to part with your hard-earned money or a favorite piece of furniture, it is not difficult for a judge to divvy up such material assets. What about the other things that you value from your marriage that do not necessarily have a monetary value, but an emotional one, such as family photographs, pets, and gifts and heirlooms? What becomes of them?
Assets Commonly Overlooked in a Dallas Divorce
According to state law, all assets acquired during a marriage are subject to equitable distribution, meaning that property will be divided fairly, not necessarily equally. While the judge will be quick to look at bank statements and property holdings, he or she may overlook other less obvious but just as important assets. Those can include the following:
- Pets: Unlike with children, there is no “custody” arrangement for pets in Texas, as they are considered property. This means that the dog, cat, horse, or what have you will be assessed and valued and given to a single individual as a part of the divorce settlement.
- Gifts: Just because you bought a piece of jewelry for your spouse during marriage does not necessarily mean that it is yours after divorce. Whether you want to keep gifts given to you or gifts given, you and your spouse should decide prior to stepping in front of a judge.
- Family Photographs: While it is easy to reprint or copy family photos today, it can become costly, especially for larger prints. When drafting your settlement, it is worth considering the value of those photos.
- Collections: Whether your spouse is into model airplanes or collecting rocks, he or she may have spent a significant amount of time and money growing those collections. Be sure the have both yours and your spouse’s collections assessed prior to getting a divorce so that you know what everything is worth—after all, those rocks could be a gold mine!
- Patents: Did you and your spouse dream up something great while together? If so, make sure that both you names are on the patent, or have the idea assessed for fair market value if you would rather take the money instead of the risk.
- Frequent Flyer Miles: You and your spouse may have done a lot of traveling in your married days, in which case, you would have a lot of frequent flyer miles accumulated. If so, make sure that you do not lose out on those miles, as they can be worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Consult With a Dallas Divorce Lawyer
Once the judge hands down the final divorce settlement, there is not much that you can do to change it. To avoid losing out on some valuable assets, be sure to assess all of your property prior to going before a judge. At Udeshi Clark and Associates, our Dallas divorce lawyers will help you identify all of your property—both tangible and intangible—to ensure that you do not lose out on assets that are rightfully yours. Call our family law firm at 469-906-2266 to schedule a private consultation today.
(image courtesy of Erik Stine)