The largest issue in many divorces is how assets will be divided between the couple. Some spouses who are interested in ensuring that they receive an equitable portion of the property may miss out on assets that they have rights to because the assets are difficult to divide. While checking accounts may be easy to split up, this is not always the case with all the assets a couple may own.
There are a number of assets that are tricky to determine the value of, so divorcing spouses may simply not ask for them or understand their actual worth. For instance, stock options, retirement account funds and deferred compensation can be difficult to put a value on, especially since the value may increase over time.
When seeking assets that have values that may grow or may not be liquid, such as stocks, people should consider all the pros and cons. Many investments require that individuals pay taxes on them once they are sold or cashed out, and someone may be better off with assets that can easily be spent or used instead of ones that need to mature.
When an individual goes through a divorce, it's important that they understand how the legal system decides issues related to ending their marriage. Individuals may not be aware that marital assets are those that are obtained through the course of a marriage. Therefore, even the increase of the value of a business that was started before a couple was married is generally considered marital property. A lawyer could help a divorcing spouse understand how the asset division process works as well as what may and may not be considered marital assets.