The house and bank and retirement accounts are the most obvious property that a couple must address in their divorce. However, there are other substantial and hidden assets that must be uncovered and dealt with.
Spouses in an executive-level corporate position may have restricted stock in their income stream. Although it is future income, this may be a substantial asset that should be addressed in property division.
Employers structure and restructure restricted stock in many ways. But it is usually associated with length of performance or executive or company performance.
The non-earning spouse should determine whether restricted stock units were earned during marriage and may be cashed out after divorce. If restricted stock cannot be transferred, other property may be allocated to the nonearning spouse to make up for it. Couples must also determine how the asset value may be frozen upon market rates.
Employees, especially federal or state workers, may be entitled to pensions. The spouse who is not the pension holder should make sure this future income, earned during marriage, is accounted for and properly divided.
An expert may have to conduct a valuation because pensions may be difficult to value. Pension statements only contain estimates of future payments. The company providing the pension can also declare bankruptcy which can affect future payments.
Military health care and pensions
Spouses who are married to members of the military and who are not themselves in the armed forces may be ineligible for health care and other military benefits after their divorce.
The military follows the 20-20-20 rule. To receive military benefits the military spouse had to serve at least 20 years, the marriage must be at least 20 years long and the military service has to overlap by at least 20 years.
Federal and state laws also cover allocation of military benefits. Completing the right documents is essential.
Spouses may also own the relatively new asset of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency. There are many ways to hold cryptocurrency such as through a major investment company or individually like stock certificates.
Keeping track of all household assets and their ownership will be helpful if there is ever a divorce and for estate planning. Also, make notes if you hear terms like GameStop which can indicate that your spouse is a day trader or Bitcoin which indicate the presence of cryptocurrency. Use of other terms may be a sign of hidden assets.
Attorneys can assist you with uncovering and placing a value on these and other assets. They can help seek a fair and reasonable property division.