Property division means more than the house and cars

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Property Division on Thursday, July 4, 2013.

People in Maryland may have seen a recent editorial about some often-overlooked but potentially very valuable marital assets: rewards program points. These most commonly consist of things like frequent flyer miles or hotel points, but could include any other form of valuable company-specific loyalty rewards like rental cars or frequent shopper points. It's good to know about these programs and the benefits available, but for people going through a divorce it's also especially important for property division purposes.

When people think about property division, they generally think about the house, the cars, pieces of art they are fond of and other basic everyday items. But marital property includes far more than that, which is why people need a family law attorney with experience in complex property division.

While most people might not think about air miles as worth squabbling over in the divorce, these can have very real value. For example, if one of the spouses travels extensively for work, the airline points can accumulate rapidly. Whether these are personal or business assets, they are most likely marital property, and frequent flyer miles can add up to thousands of dollars' worth of travel incentives and rewards. The same goes for credit card rewards. Some people earn a percentage back on every purchase and don't utilize the points, or sometimes even know about them. Needless to say, these points can add up fast.

Whether you have enough rewards points to make it an issue in the divorce is a whole other matter, but it's worth looking into. Most importantly, having an experienced divorce attorney who knows how to get the full amount out of these and other overlooked assets can make the difference when it comes to successful property division.

Source: Forbes, "Divorce: Who Gets The Air Miles?" Jeff Landers, June 26, 2013