Use This Checklist to Make Sure You Don’t Overlook Marital Assets

October 6, 2022 | J. Benjamin Stevens | Share:

Hand with black pen marking on checklist box.When you’re getting a divorce, part of the process will involve identifying, valuing, and then dividing all of the marital assets. Even in marriages where record-keeping is highly organized, it can still be easy to overlook assets that aren’t commonly talked about in your divorce attorney’s client paperwork. That’s why it’s important to understand all of the different types of assets that have value when accounting for things accumulated during your marriage. Since most divorce financial and property settlements are final and cannot be modified, your attorney will want to make absolutely sure you don’t overlook any marital assets before the final agreement is approved by the Family Court.

Marital assets can include everything from the family home to retirement accounts to frequent flyer miles to dining club memberships. If all of your marital assets are not properly accounted for during divorce proceedings, they may not be divided equitably or at all, potentially leaving you with less than your fair share of the marital estate. This can lead to all sorts of problems down the road, not to mention you could be left with no way to fix the inequality once the Court approves the original property division. In this article, I will discuss some of the most commonly overlooked marital assets in divorce cases and will also share a quick checklist that you can use to guide your property division discussions with your attorney.

When parties divorce, there are certain things that immediately come to mind that must be divided, such as bank accounts, equity in the house, retirement accounts, etc. In fact, most people who meet with me to discuss a potential separation are mostly worried about the bank accounts, the cars, and of course, the marital home. These assets tend to be the most important to day-to-day life and are a primary concern of both parties so that they know how life will carry on during the initial separation while the other details of their divorce are worked out through (likely) lengthy negotiations through their attorneys.

However, there are also a number of easily overlooked or hidden assets that should also be addressed.  One of the benefits of having an experienced family law attorney is that he can help you identify, locate, and value these hidden assets.  Because several types of marital assets are often overlooked, the following is a checklist of items that should never be overlooked in a property settlement or equitable division case:

Timeshare property
Business Interests
Leased vehicles, cell phone, other items
Stock options
Memberships (e.g., country club)
Bond or deposit for country club
Unused vacation, sick leave
Patentsm copyrights, royalties
Income tax refund
Income tax capital loss carry-forwards
Income tax charitable contribution carry-forwards
Marketable government licenses (radio licenses, commercial fishing quotas)
Special retirement benefits (“golden parachutes”)
Retirement – life insurance benefits
Retirement – medical benefits
Retirement – survivor benefits
Hobby or other collections
Contract rights from marital employment (e.g., insurance renewal payments for agent)
Affiliation “rewards” programs (e.g., points or discounts for credit card use)
Entertainment tickets, season ticket options
Business vehicle for personal use
Prepaid rent, leases, subscriptions
Burial plots
Life insurance cash surrender value (or perhaps death benefit if insured is elderly)
Tort, worker’s comp claims
Stock options
Hangar lease (for aircraft)
Hotel or credit card points
Cash in safes, safety deposit boxes, or other hidden places around the home or business
Small business retained earnings
U.S. Savings bonds, other securities,
“Hidden value” items – rare items of personal property (e.g., antiques), rare pets, collectibles
Options to purchase property
Unpaid commissions on deals set to close
Referral fess (e.g., for personal injury lawyers)
Security or performance bonds posted
Car insurance prepaid
Taxes prepaid
Digital assets
Farm equipment
Items in storage units
Artwork stored or loaned out
Wine or liquor collection
Season sports or Cultural Arts tickets

If you and your spouse are considering divorce, don’t make any decisions about how to proceed before talking with a trusted attorney in your area. Your divorce and any settlement you create will be subject to your state’s divorce laws. Without discussing your situation with an attorney, your agreement may not be what you want or what is beneficial to your future.

If you’re in South Carolina, it’s important to contact an experienced family court attorney like J. Benjamin Stevens today to discuss your specific situation.  Even if you aren’t in South Carolina, he is happy to offer referrals to a well-qualified attorney located in your state.  Mr. Stevens is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and he is a Board-Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. If you or someone you know is facing a divorce, separation, child custody, visitation, or other family law case, contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or to schedule a consultation.


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Contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or to schedule an initial consultation.



Aggressive, creative, and compassionate are words Ben Stevens' colleagues freely use to describe him as a divorce and family law attorney. Mr. Stevens is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and is a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is one of only two attorneys in South Carolina with those simultaneous distinctions. He has held numerous leadership positions in the AAML, and he currently serves as one of its National Vice Presidents. Mr. Stevens has a statewide practice and regularly appears all across South Carolina.  His practice is focused on complex divorce and child custody cases.

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