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Marital assets to be remembered in property valuation

Illinois residents who are going through a divorce need to ensure that they take into account all of their assets when they are coming up with a valuation of their property. Real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, furniture and artwork usually come to mind, but other less-visible assets are no less valuable but often forgotten.

Collections of coins and memorabilia are something that might not seem valuable at the time, but can later prove to offer big rewards. Therefore, they should be addressed as part of a property division agreement. In general, anything that was separately listed on a homeowner’s policy is likely to be worth considering. Trademarks, copyrights and any other intellectual property may not presently be generating any income but may be of value in the future. Pets are considered to be property under the laws of many states, and are usually awarded to the spouse who was the primary caregiver or who has the more flexible schedule.

Benefits that spouses have from previous employers such as pension and retirement plans, stock options and deferred compensation can all have significant value. Gifts that spouses gave each other during their marriages are also considered marital property, while gifts received prior to the marriage are separately-owned. Future repayments of loans made by a spouse to a third party are also subject to division.

A person contemplating a divorce may wish to speak to an attorney who has experience in family law matters. The attorney may be able to help the client conduct an inventory and valuation of marital property which could be used in a property division agreement.

Source: Forbes, “Divorcing Women: Don’t Forget These Marital Assets“, Jeff Landers, October 16, 2013