An important part of your divorce case is disclosing all of your assets. Early on in the divorce process, you will need to provide your lawyer with a comprehensive list of all of your assets. Creating this list can be daunting, especially if you and your spouse accumulated a large number of assets in your years of marriage. Learning about some of the most commonly forgotten assets in a California divorce case can help you create a complete list.
If you or your spouse is a collector of any type of item, don’t forget to include your collection as an asset. Your collection could be worth a considerable amount of money. Think about anything you collected, including artwork, jewelry, antiques, coins, stamps, china, action figures and model cars.
If you added to your collection during your marriage, these additions will be classified as marital or community property during your divorce case. Things collected before your marriage, however, as well as any part of your collection that was gifted to you alone during your marriage, would be classified as separate property.
Digital Assets and Downloads
It can be easy to overlook intangible assets that exist only in the digital sphere. These may include digital downloads such as music albums, movies and e-books, as well as any digital accounts you own together with your spouse, such as a website or blog. Digital assets and downloads have real monetary and emotional value during a divorce case, however, and must be included on your list of assets.
Frequent Flyer Miles
If you and your spouse were frequent travelers, you may have accumulated a significant amount of frequent flyer miles through one or more airline rewards programs. You may also have balances on other loyalty reward accounts, such as through a credit card company. Some companies allow you to divide and transfer your miles or rewards. Otherwise, you will need to determine their value and include it as part of your marital assets.
Intellectual property can be an incredibly important asset to list during your divorce case. If you or your spouse own any trademarks, patents or copyrights, these are types of intellectual property that may be treated differently from a business that you own. Intellectual property has a different type of value that must be determined.
Consider whether you or your spouse has any memberships that are worth anything. This may include memberships into country clubs, gyms, spas, or exclusive organizations that require you to purchase a membership or bond. If so, these memberships may hold a value and must be included on your list of assets.
Many couples forget to include timeshare properties as part of their marital assets during a divorce case. Although you may not spend much time at your timeshare property, it is a real estate holding that will require legal processes, such as assessing its value and determining how will be divided in your divorce.
What Should I Do if I’ve Forgotten to Claim an Asset During a Divorce?
If you have already submitted your list of assets to your attorney or a judge in San Diego when you remember something else, tell someone right away. You do not want to be accused of intentionally hiding any assets. If a judge has already issued your divorce decree, you must still come forward and report the forgotten asset. If it was an honest mistake, the court will order the asset to be divided and you will avoid related penalties.
If it is discovered that you intentionally concealed the asset, however, the situation will be handled much differently. You may be held in contempt of court and face penalties such as a fine and even jail time. In addition, the courts may penalize you by awarding 100 percent of that asset to your spouse or requiring you to pay for your spouse’s attorney’s fees and costs related to the undisclosed asset.
The best way to ensure that you do not forget any assets during your California divorce case is by working with a divorce lawyer in San Diego to create your list.