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Some important assets not to ignore during property division

When a Tennessee couple heads for divorce, is the spouses are usually prepared for an equitable division of property as directed by Tennessee law. However, sometimes spouses overlook assets and debts, which are a part of marital property and as a result emerge from the courtroom feeling that they have been treated unfairly. Therefore, it is important for divorcing spouses to address some crucial financial areas that can have a significant impact on asset division at the time of divorce.

Spouses should understand the amount of liquid cash needed after a divorce. If the requirement is immediate, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and retirement accounts should be used. However, if immediate cash flow is not an issue, retaining assets with mixed degrees of liquidity is usually beneficial in the long run.

In addition, divorcing couples should address all joint liabilities. For example, refinancing mortgages and settling joint credit card bills. Settling or refinancing joint debt before divorce finalization is beneficial because creditors may not consider a property settlement agreement valid when seeking to recover debt.

Another important area of concern for divorcing spouses is tax liabilities on investments and other assets. Two investment accounts may have similar monetary values but their economic values can differ greatly when taxes are factored into the equation. Reviewing past tax returns filed as a married couple is also important because they not only clearly define each spouse's earnings but also identify any possible "tax assets" that need to be brought to the table during asset division. These tax assets can provide significant tax relief on future liabilities of a former spouse.

Retirement accounts are another important asset to discuss during property division. These usually represent a large portion of the couple's net worth and if the correct procedure is followed, it is possible that any transfer would not be taxed.

Finally, almost every modern-day individual has digital assets, such as social media accounts, pictures and videos with high emotional value. Therefore, ensuring that both ex-spouses retain access to these digital assets can be an important part of present-day property division.

Source: Forbes, "6 Money Matters Divorcing Spouses Often Overlook," Leslie Thompson, Aug. 19, 2014

Source: Forbes, "6 Money Matters Divorcing Spouses Often Overlook," Leslie Thompson, Aug. 19, 2014

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