Can I claim part of my spouse's flying miles during a divorce?

Perhaps your spouse has a job that requires a great deal of traveling to and from Utah. If he or she has accumulated an extensive number of air miles, you may be able to claim them as marital property, according to Forbes. If you and your soon to be ex-spouse have worked hard to rack up airline miles or other rewards, you might face a battle in court over who gets them, since it can be tricky to divide them.  

One possibility for easily dividing them is to assign a cash value to the points and come up with an agreement where one spouse buys out the points from the other. You might have to do some estimation and math to determine a realistic monetary value for the points. For some reward point programs, it is easy to assign monetary value because the company has done it for you. Once you place a monetary value on the points, you can always use this to negotiate for something of equal value, such as artwork or an antique.

You might be able to find other way to fairly divide the miles. Although you might think this is the easiest solution, it does often come with a price. Many companies might change some of the conditions, including the expiration dates and only transfer the points for a fee. Other companies will not allow this type of transaction. If the company does allow for the division of the miles, you can set up a separate account from your spouse’s where your miles can be deposited.

In some cases, the answer to this property division problem might be straightforward. Some credit card companies have already prepared for this and included the information in the terms and agreements. For example, it might state that the rewards are non-transferable, even in a divorce, so they will stay with whichever spouse's name is on the account. In this case, it might be best to negotiate an offer based on the cash value.

Although air miles or other reward points might seem trivial, at the end of the day they are a modern type of currency. Therefore, it may be worth it to take the time to assign them a value and add them to your property division. This information is intended only to educate and should not be considered legal advice.


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