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Dividing Marital Assets and Divorce - Overlook Nothing

In high-value divorces, people tend to focus on the "big figure" investments.  Home equity, investment accounts, retirement accounts, interests in closely held businesses and valuable collections seldom escape notice; with these items, marital division or restoration as a non-marital asset is as inevitable as the sun rising in the east.

There are other assets, however, that often have significant value but can escape the notice of the parties in the emotionalism of the moment.  In Kentucky, a litigant must be are aware of those assets and their values ahead of any agreement or contested hearing - courts here do not look favorably on reopening matters on neglected or omitted items, and this failure can lead to outcomes which aren't optimized.

A skilled lawyer will help a client explore the notion of using some of these frequently overlooked assets as tools to leverage a better outcome on some marital investment which may be of greater use to his client.

Frequently overlooked (and often valuable) marital assets can include the following:

  • Stock options;
  • Accrued but unutilized vacation or bonus pay;
  • Tax refunds;
  • Contingent settlements from lawsuits or insurance companies;
  • Prepaid or escrowed expenses such as property taxes and insurance;
  • Overpaid quarterly estimates or applied taxes from the previous year);
  • Airline or credit card points;
  • Season tickets;
  • Timeshare units;
  • Custodial/Educational accounts for children;
  • Valuable coins, art pieces or collectibles;
  • Loan obligations due to be repaid from family/friends; and
  • Cash surrender values of life insurance.
  • This list is not exhaustive by any means, but merely an example of what people can frequently leave on a table in a high value divorce.

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