Property division and frequent flyer miles
One troubling aspect of a divorce is the necessity to deconstruct your life as it currently exists. When you divorce, you need to separate all of the assets of the household and move them to the two new household that will remain after the divorce. The process of doing that can be time consuming, but is necessary in order to create an equitable property division, which is the standard used in Illinois.
Now, equitable does not mean exactly even. And the equitable division only occurs for martial property, which is the stuff that you and your spouse accumulated during your marriage, but does not include your separate property. Separate property is made up of property you brought into the marriage or received as a personal gift or inheritance. Your work on the property division can begin once you have removed the separate items.
And because marital property includes everything bought or earned during the marriage, it may include things that you may not even consider property. Like frequent flyer miles. These miles, points or credits typically are received when traveling by airline, and if a spouse travels for their work, the amount of miles earned can become substantial and valuable.
Moreover, it is reasonable that the other spouse, who stays at home with the kids, receives some of these miles. After all, they are the ones who have to transport the children from one activity to another, and if the traveling spouse is gone for long stretches of time, the remaining spouse may feel like a single parent, even before their divorce.
Your divorce attorney can review your situation and help you find all the assets that should be part of your marital property division.
Source: Forbes, “Divorce: Who Gets The Air Miles?” Jeff Landers, June 26, 2013