Throughout your marriage, your spouse has always spent money on their collection of sports memorabilia or their hobby of fixing up classic cars. Whether you married someone who is in to fine art, designer clothing or jewelry, the property that your spouse owns can represent a substantial amount of money.
Especially for high-asset households, it is crucial to look at all of the property acquired during the marriage — not just the property you hope to retain. Things that belong to your spouse can affect what you received in the divorce even if you have no interest in vintage baseball cards.
The property settlement depends on the total value of the estate
You don’t have to want to keep an asset for it to be valuable in your divorce. Property that your spouse likes and uses and for which you have no use will likely stay with them after you split. However, you deserve property of equivalent value to offset the thousands of dollars represented by a sculpture or a handbag.
When getting ready to divorce, one of the most important steps will be creating a thorough inventory of your assets. Don’t just look at items that you can split or sell. Look at property that has value. Collections and hobbies can often represent tens of thousands of dollars. Some spouses will even go so far as to intentionally make purchases of valuable items that their spouse won’t want in the hopes of hiding assets in the divorce.
A thorough review of what you and your spouse own combined with a proper valuation for those assets can put you and your attorney in a position to better advocate for interests in your divorce.