Even relatively amicable divorces where there are significant marital assets to be divided can be complicated. As you and your spouse work out who gets what properties, stocks, artwork, jewelry, antiques and good old-fashioned cash, don’t neglect what could be a very valuable asset: your frequent flyer miles.
Many people have no idea offhand just how many miles they have. You may have been accumulating them over the years as you and your spouse flew all over the world for business and pleasure as well as through purchases on mileage program credit cards. You may have occasionally dipped into your account to upgrade to first-class for a special vacation or to use your mileage points at hotels or retailers. However, you may still have a balance that will allow you thousands of dollars in free travel. That’s worth spending some time looking at during your divorce.
When determining how to divide your airline miles, you’ll want to look at the terms and conditions of each program. No two are exactly alike. Some airlines will let you divide the miles between two separate accounts. If an airline does allow the transfer of miles, there may be a fee.
However, some airlines don’t allow transfers under any conditions. If that’s the case, you’ll need to determine the monetary value of your miles if you’re going to divide them. Some airlines assign a cash value. If one of yours doesn’t, you can estimate it. Once you’ve agreed on what the miles that one person is keeping are worth, you may decide that the other spouse will get an asset of equivalent value.
There are likely a number of ways that you and your spouse can agree on to divide the miles you’ve accumulated over the years. For example United’s MileagePlus program lets you purchase electronic gift cards. This may be a good option if you’re going to be spending money at Home Depot, Pottery Barn Kids and other retailers as you decorate your new home. Your Florida family law attorney can provide advice specific to your situation as you work out your asset division in your divorce.