Two Surprising Assets You’re Entitled To In A Divorce
You turned over every rock to uncover marital assets accumulated during your marriage to ensure you get your fair share. You may still be leaving money on the table, though, because some assets aren't readily seen as such. Here are two sources of cash and property that should be part of your divorce settlement but are frequently overlooked.
Hardly anyone thinks about loans to loved ones as assets but, in reality, that's exactly what they are. If you and your spouse gave money to someone who is supposed to pay it back, you are entitled to a portion of any repayments made.
For instance, if your partner loans a family member $500 while you were married and they pay the money back during or after the divorce, your partner would be required to give you some of that cash. The only way they could avoid handing over the money would be to prove the loan came out of separate non-marital funds, such as an inheritance.
While you may be entitled to a portion of loan payments, it's important to keep things in perspective and make sure the loan is worth the time and effort to pursue. Trying to get half of a $100 loan to your mother-in-law is likely not worth it, but getting part of $5,000 loaned to a friend for a business investment definitely is.
Another area that frequently goes unnoticed are forms of deferred compensation, such as bonuses and stock options. Because these types of payments don't always land on the asset radar, it is common practice for one spouse to hide money by deferring payout of eligible compensation until after the divorce.
For instance, your ex earns a quarterly bonus but elects to take it and other bonuses at the end of the year in one lump-sum. If you're not vigilant, your ex could walk away with thousands of dollars of marital cash you have a right to.
Generally, going through financial records — such as bank statements and pay stubs — can uncover this type of deferred compensation. However, you can also have your attorney subpoena your spouse's employment records, if necessary, to find money he or she may be trying to hide.
There are many other forms of assets you may be entitled to hidden in plain sight. Work with a divorce law attorney to uncover them and negotiate the fair settlement you deserve. Contact a local lawyer today.