One of the most challenging aspects of a separation is the division of marital assets. Everything from retirement plans to art collections must be appraised and divided in order to ensure equality in a divorce settlement, as many Illinois residents are well aware. But one asset that often escapes the attention of couples in the midst of a separation is, strangely, frequent flyer miles.

It may sound like a relatively insignificant asset over which to negotiate, but the truth is frequent flyer miles of the type afforded by credit card companies and airlines can be considerably more valuable than might first be expected. In some cases, couples have accumulated hundreds of thousands of these rewards over the course of a marriage, and those bonuses can translate into the likes of travel and luxury items. However, unlike currency or items, dividing these assets can be somewhat complicated.

It can be beneficial for the couple to refer to the reward company’s literature to determine if they have a divorce plan in place, as some do in the Terms and Conditions of their reward agreement. It is also possible to determine an estimate on the monetary value of accumulated points and negotiate for a sum or item of equivalent value. It may also be possible to request the points be divided into two accounts by the company itself, allowing both members of a divorcing couple access to an equal share of the accumulated points.

It is often not easy to come to equitable terms when dividing marital assets in a divorce. Illinois residents will understand that it is important to make the division as reasonable as possible, however, in order to ensure a relatively efficient end to the proceedings. This can help both parties move forward in a positive way sooner than later.

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