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No stone unturned: identifying, valuing marital assets in divorce

If your soon-to-be ex is hyperventilating on the floor after having just learned that the lottery ticket he or she bought recently actually has THE WINNING POWERBALL NUMBERS, take a moment to collect yourself.

And then promptly remind your impending former spouse that the ticket is marital property and its winnings subject to equitable division in your Massachusetts divorce.

We concede that such a scenario is unlikely, of course, but we cast that hypothetical to make a point.

And that is this: There is both breadth and depth of assets in many decouplings, and it is important for a divorcing spouse properly focused on a just financial accounting to fully identify and accurately value EVERYTHING that commands worth as marital property.

A Forbes article focused on that subject notes just how complex that task can be in some marriages, especially those in the high-net-worth category.

It is simply logical that, over the years, the property mix in a high-asset divorce grows in type and complexity. The Forbes piece points to some relatively obvious asset sources, such as realty holdings and savings accounts, but also alludes to things like the following:

  • Myriad employment-related assets, such as retirement plans, stock options, impending bonuses, pensions, restricted stock holdings and more
  • Collections and memorabilia (running the gamut from art, stamps and coins to antiques, vintage books and cars)
  • Select club memberships
  • Retained earnings in a business

And, again, follow through if you do perchance see your spouse gasping for breath while holding a lottery ticket.

Bottom line: Marital property is obviously valuable, and it can be both multi-sourced and hard to fully identify immediately.

A proven family law attorney well versed in complex asset division matters can help with the process.

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