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Airline miles may need to be included in property division

Divorce is a fact of life for many Illinois couples. As a part of the divorce process, the couple must itemize their assets and divide them as part of the property division process. While bank accounts and furniture are usually obvious, there are sometimes assets that are not as readily apparent but which still need to be accounted for.

Airlines mileage points are one such asset. If one of the individuals or both traveled during the marriage, it is likely that there are mileage points that should be considered a marital asset. These points do have value that needs to be addressed.

The first step in addressing this issue is to itemize available mileage points. Often, more than one mileage program is involved and the points are held in individual names. Once this has been completed, it will be necessary to analyze the structure of each mileage program to determine costs involved with transferring points. Additionally, a valuation for the available mileage will need to be established. There are services available that can assist with these steps.

In some cases, actually transferring points from some spouse to the other may not be cost effective. It may make more sense to leave the points where they are and establish an agreement regarding who can use the points and for what purposes. For instance, it may be best to come to an agreement to use them to allow children or other family travel using them.

Property division decisions can be difficult to make. However, by taking a close look at all assets the couple possesses, including those that are not commonly thought of, each Illinois individual can make an informed decision regarding what is best. Additionally, experienced legal counsel can offer guidance on how to address this.

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

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