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Addressing reward points in property division process

When a California couple is going through a divorce, there are a multitude of issues they must address in the process. Property division is a major topic of consideration in the end of most marriages. While the home, cars, bank accounts, insurance policies and retirement funds may be the main focus, there is one asset that may be overlooked.

Many couples have racked up a significant number of airline reward points over their years together. According to experts, these miles are a community asset just like the cars or bank accounts.  The reward miles carry a value and must be divided in some manner.

How the miles are divided depends on the couple's state of residence. In community property states like California, the miles will be split equally between the ex-spouses. If the couple lives in an equitable distribution state, the court will make a determination as to what is a fair division. Since some couples may have a significant number of reward points, it would be worthwhile to consider them in property division discussions.

There are several ways a couple may choose to divide the reward program points or miles. Hotels and airlines have various methods for transferring points. Some may have a one time transfer fee, while others may have a certain fee for every 1,000 points transferred. This could prove to be punitive for couples that may have a large number of reward points. Other couples may decide to designate a value for the points rather than attempt to split them.

Reward points are just one of the assets that must be addressed in the property division process of a divorce. To ensure that one's best interests are protected both now and in the future, it would be advantageous to seek the services of a California divorce attorney. A trusted lawyer will work with clients to seek a favorable outcome in the divorce proceedings.

Source: wisebread.com, "How to Divide Rewards and Keep Your Sanity in Divorce", Holly Johnson, Jan. 25, 2018

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