Most Michigan couples who are ending their marriage know that they will have to divide tangible items like houses, cars and furniture. Money in checking and savings accounts will also have to be divided, and divorcing spouses are often worried about getting their fair share of the cash. While property division negotiations are going on, people sometimes overlook certain items that are just as valuable but more difficult to split.
If they fail to evaluate their marital assets completely, valuable assets like retirement plans, deferred compensation and stock options could be forgotten. Dividing these assets is usually a more complicated process than dividing cash or a house because the proceeds may not be paid out for some time after the divorce. There are also tax consequences to owning investments that are important to keep in mind during negotiations.
Even if one spouse has a retirement plan, the other spouse may be entitled to receive a portion of it. When dividing a retirement plan, the split is not always 50/50. If one spouse earned a smaller income during the marriage, the lower-earning spouse's share of the retirement plan could be larger because it will be more difficult for them to build a savings on their own.
Couples who are involved in a high asset divorce may have numerous investments, bank accounts, properties and businesses to divide. An attorney may be able to represent an individual in property division negotiations and ensure that no assets are forgotten. In some cases, a forensic accountant might be needed to locate assets that have been intentionally hidden by the other party.