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Don't forget to include these items in your divorce settlement

Divorce can be a very difficult decision to make. In fact, deciding to divorce is just the first in a long list of decisions you will have to make before you walk away with a divorce decree. For some people, divorce marks a new beginning and can be a very positive step toward a brighter future. However, before you can move forward, you have to address certain issues, such as marital property division. For example, will you keep the house in Pearland or would it be better to sell it and split the proceeds?

Before you can make decision regarding property division, you have to have a full accounting of what you and your husband own. By leaving out assets, you risk losing out on property that you may rights to. To find out what kinds of assets people commonly overlook, read further.

Benefits

Deferred compensation and retirement plans are common incentives that many employers offer. Even if your husband only worked for a particular company for a few years early in his career, there may be a 401k that you have rights to. Be sure you check for stock options, restricted stock, pension plans, and other benefits that may have been from a previous employer.

Tax carryovers

If you have investment property, such as stocks, you could have a capital loss carryover on prior year tax returns. This loss occurs when capital losses are greater than capital gains, but there is a limit as to how much of a loss an individual or married couple can claim every year. The excess loss then carries into the following years until you are able to use it. For example, if your husband sold stock last year at a $60,000 loss, the most that the two of you could claim on your tax return was $3,000. You would be able to use that loss in future years to offset any capital gains. This means if you had a $10,000 gain for selling stock this year, you could use $13,000 of your prior year loss. This lets you completely offset the capital gain and claim the $3,000 capital loss limit. Be sure you get to claim your share of any prior year capital loss carryovers as part of your divorce settlement.

Cemetery plots

If you and your husband purchased side-by-side cemetery plots, it is likely that you will no longer want to be buried next to him after the divorce is final. Cemetery plots can be valuable, so be sure you account for that in your divorce settlement as well.

Club memberships

Perhaps your husband is an avid golfer who plays multiple rounds throughout the week. He might even have a country club membership that involved initiation fees and requires annual dues. This could also be something valuable that you include in the list of assets the two of you have acquired during your marriage.

Other assets that people commonly overlook include collectibles, lottery tickets, loans made by either spouse and even travel program points. When you start planning for your divorce and listing the assets and property that the two of own, keep in mind that there may be items beyond the money in your joint bank account and the house.

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Board Certified | Texas Board of Legal Specialization | Family Law

John Powell, III is Board Certified in Family Law ~ Texas Board of Legal Specialization

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Phone: 281-870-2053
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