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How to split unusual assets in your divorce

No part of divorce is enjoyable, and property division is no exception. It takes a lot of time and effort to take inventory of all assets, valuate them and decide how to split them between the two of you.

Do not let the drudgery of the process prevent you from being thorough. Here are few assets to remember to include, as well as how to divide them.

Pets

Pets are not unusual, but their treatment in a divorce is. You may consider your pets as family members, but in the eyes of Texas law, they fall under property. If you acquired your pets during the marriage, they are community property, and your ex has claim to them if he or she wants. If they were yours prior to the relationship, or you were the only caretaker for them, you may be able to retain sole ownership.

However, you can make arrangements for your pets similar to that of child custody. They can split time between households, maybe transferring at the same time as the kids to provide comfort or consistency, or staying home with you when the kids are gone so you feel less lonely. It is best to try to agree on a solution to avoid leaving it to the judge, who has less interest in the well-being of pets than of children.

Intangibles

The word "property" brings to mind tangible goods, including money. However, it is important to remember the intangible ones or you can lose out on valuable assets. Examples include the following:

  • Intellectual property
  • Digital media
  • Frequent flyer miles

The rules for dividing such property will depend on the nature of each asset.

Wedding ring

What happens to your wedding ring in a divorce? You can do what you please with it. If the ring was a family heirloom, the proper thing to do would be return it. Otherwise, you can keep it, sell it, give it back, donate it or throw it away. Only broken engagements mandate returning the ring.

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