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Dividing assets and determining value

One of the main points of contention for Tennessee residents during a divorce is how assets will be divided. Some people associate asset division with simply dividing up a couple's bank accounts and determining who keeps an automobile, but every item that a couple owns has to be split up during a divorce. Due to the issues associated with attributing value to all of these items and people's emotional attachment to some things, asset division can become complex.

Couples can either agree upon the value of an item or look for an outside opinion, but there are some assets that cannot easily be given a value. For example, frequent flyer miles can be quite valuable, but attributing a dollar amount to them may not be simple. In some cases, a company may assign a cash value to the miles, but not all companies do this. Couples at this point either have the option of trying to split up the miles, if it is allowed by the terms of agreement, or come to an agreement about how much the miles are worth.

When determining how much an item like this is worth, it is important that individuals think financially and not emotionally. If someone has their heart set on using the flyer miles, their spouse may argue that the miles are worth far less than they are. A person who is thinking emotionally could end up giving up more valuable assets than the miles are worth.

Asset division can be complicated, and even overwhelming if there are a large amount of assets to divide. A lawyer could help someone throughout the process and explain what their rights are based on state law.

Source: Forbes, "Divorce: Who Gets The Air Miles?", Jeff Landers, June 26, 2013

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