It is easy to overlook complicated assets that you might never think about on a daily basis. If you are seeking a divorce then your spouse might be happy keeping it that way too. Many people do not realize all of their spouse's accounts that are a part of joint marital assets. Below are some common items that often get overlooked when dividing assets:
- Stocks and bonds
- Retirement accounts such as 401(k), pensions and personal accounts
- Company stock options
- Employer freebies such as country club access
Retirement accounts can be the most valuable martial asset
It is important to be aware if your spouse has any of these types of assets. It is easy to get caught up in the big ticket items such as the house and the cars, but sometimes these low key assets will be more important down the road. For example a retirement account may have acquired more earnings than your joint savings account without you realizing it.
It is common for people to have more than one retirement account. Although you might know about the one that your spouse has had for the past decade, they might have another retirement account from a previous job squirreled away somewhere. If you want to be certain then you and your attorney can contact their previous employers and ask about retirement accounts. Be prepared because they might ask for a court order to release the information.
Your financial losses are a part of the deal too
You might need to consider the financial sacrifices that you have made during marriage. These sacrifices might be taking time away from your job to care for the children or taking a major salary cut to move across country for your spouse's job. These types of sacrifices are common in marriages but have a major impact on one person's career and future earning potential.
If this is the case for you then ask yourself if a 50/50 split is really the fair answer. If you made sacrifices and now have less work experience or earning potential, then your marital assets might need to be split differently. You might deserve a larger chunk of the retirement savings that your spouse for example. Make sure to plan your divorce carefully with an experienced attorney because the result can change your life.