After five years of marriage, the wife of famed music producer “Timbaland” has filed for divorce.
Her subsequent list of demands for property division and support have drawn the eye of numerous celebrity gossip outlets. Her requests include support for the child the two shared, plus a child she had prior to the union, as well as life insurance, private schooling, vacations, permanent alimony and legal fees.
Bear in mind, however, that Timbaland is worth an estimated $80 million.
While the vast majority of those filing for divorce in Birmingham aren't going to be haggling over accounts that even come close, the reality is that the division of assets in a marriage can be a challenge.
Looking at divorce from a financial perspective, most of divorce is about asset division. Valuations of seemingly common assets can get tricky in these cases. There are the items that have very definitive valuations, such as a bank account or car or boat or house.
However, then you have things like investments, life insurance plans, stock options, pensions and brokerage accounts. The value of these items might not be so cut-and-dried. In fact, the current dollar value of these items may not truly be the best way to figure out what they are actually worth.
And while many people are criticizing Timbaland's soon-to-be-ex for her laundry list of requests, one thing she seems to be doing right is taking careful inventory of all the assets and issues that matter to her and her children.
The reality is, it can be easy to overlook even important assets. Part of that is due to the fact that some are simply not as easy to identify as others.
Previous employer benefits are a good example. Retirement accounts, deferred compensation plans and stock options are just as important – if not more important – than some of those other more tangible assets.
Another asset to which you may not realize you are entitled is a capital loss carryover. This is a tricky one and you may want to get a financial planner involved, but basically, it involves scouring your spouse's tax returns. If during the course of the marriage, capital losses exceeded capital gains and those losses were carried over into future years, you may be entitled to a portion of that reduction in tax liability in future years. It sounds complicated, but it's basically money in your pocket.
One aspect you don't want to forget is cemetery plots or any such equivalent. Seeing as how you are no longer planning to be together until death do you part, you probably don't want to be together in death either. These plots can be expensive, and you can probably negotiate an agreement to either give yours up or have your spouse give up theirs.
Think also about any memorabilia and collections you and your spouse may have accrued throughout the course of the marriage. Things like stamps, art, antiques, sports items, coins – they can be worth a lot of money. They may even be listed in your homeowner's insurance policy. It should also be part of your divorce settlement.
Other items to think about include country club or golf course memberships, gifts presented to one another during the marriage, intellectual property, retained earnings (for those whose spouses own a business) and tax refunds.
We recognize this is a lot to take in, but you don't have to go it alone.
If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.
Divorcing Women: Don't Forget These Marital Assets, Oct. 16, 2013, By Jeff Landers, Forbes.com