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Remember to divide airline miles during divorce

Most major airlines offer rewards programs to frequent travelers. If you enroll in one of these programs, you accumulate points to use on travel-related perks. You may also have a credit card that allows you to accrue airline miles every time you make a purchase.

The airline miles you and your spouse have collected during your marriage may be part of the marital estate. Consequently, during your divorce, you may need to divide your airline miles. Doing so, though, may require a bit of work.

Property designation

Whether your airline miles are marital property, which you must divide, or separate property, which you can likely keep, may depend on when you accumulated them. Any miles you already had before you walked down the aisle may be separate property. On the other hand, if you or your spouse used separate miles for marital benefit, the miles may now be marital property.

Property valuation

Just as with other assets, you should attempt to value your airline miles when preparing for your divorce. Calculating the worth of airline miles can be challenging, though, as many rewards programs assign no cash value to miles. Others only assign a nominal worth. Accordingly, you may need to use the value of the perks your miles buy to calculate their value.

Property division

If the airline prohibits the transfer of airline miles, dividing miles during your divorce may be tricky. You or your spouse may have to give up other assets in exchange for the airline miles. Alternatively, you may be able to negotiate an arrangement by which you or your spouse give the perks of the miles to the other.

Whether you ultimately choose to divide airline miles during your divorce may be up to you and your spouse. Nevertheless, addressing every part of the marital estate, including your airline miles, is an effective strategy for obtaining your fair share of all marital assets during your divorce.