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Hidden & Overlooked Assets In Divorces

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
Categories: Blog, Division and Valuation of Property

In a recent blog post “Your Spouse’s ‘Hidden’ Assets – A Checklist” mentioned in the South Carolina Family Law Blog, Georgia Family Law Attorney Steve Worrall provided a useful and extensive list of assets that are often overlooked or hidden in divorces and legal separations.  In California, all assets acquired during marriage by either party are presumed to be community property.  It is important that prior to the division of property or property settlement in a family law case, all valuable assets are identified and located. The list of assets below is not exhaustive but is a great tool for litigants and attorneys alike.
1. Frequent flyer mileage
2. Security deposits (e.g., utilities, car lease)
3. Timeshare property
4. Leased vehicles, cell phone, other items
5. Stock options
6. Memberships (e.g., country club)
7. Bond or deposit for country club
8. Unused vacation, sick leave
9. Patents, copyrights, royalties
10. Income tax refunds
11. Income tax capital loss carry-forwards
12. Income tax charitable contribution carry-forwards
13. Marketable govt licenses (radio licenses, commercial fishing quotas)
14. Special retirement benefits (“golden parachutes”)
15. Retirement – life insurance benefits
16. Retirement – medical benefits
17. Retirement – survivor benefits
18. Hobby or other collections
19. Contract rights from marital employment (e.g., insurance renewal payments for agent)
20. Affiliation “rewards” programs (e.g., points or discounts for credit card use)
21. Entertainment tickets, season ticket options
22. Business vehicle for personal use
23. Prepaid rent, leases, subscriptions
24. Burial plots
25. Life insurance cash surrender value (or perhaps death benefit if insured is elderly)
26. Tort, worker’s comp claims
27. Stock options
28. Hangar lease (for aircraft)
29. Hotel or credit card points
30. Cash
31. Small business retained earnings
32. US Savings Bonds, other securities
33. “Hidden value” items – rare items of personal property (e.g., antiques), rare pets, collectibles
34. Options to purchase property
35. Unpaid commissions on deals set to close
36. Referral fees (e.g., for personal injury lawyers)
37. Security or performance bonds posted
38. Car insurance prepaid
39. Taxes prepaid

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