Do I get to keep rewards points in a divorce?
When Alabama residents get divorced, there are usually a important pieces of property that must be divided between the spouses. Determining who gets major assets like the house or car is central to most divorces, as these assets are often among the highest valued assets of the couple.
Yet, there remains a host of other property obtained during the marriage that must be divided. When it comes to these items, it can be less clear who gets the property, or how to achieve an equitable division of an asset that is difficult to divide.
Take, for example, a couple’s frequent flyer miles. Some may not realize it at first, but frequent flyer miles, and similar rewards and benefits, may be considered a significant asset. Couples who travel frequently, or obtain other rewards, may see such points and rewards pile up quickly, and each spouse may want to retain these rewards after the divorce.
A useful starting point when dealing with rewards programs is to look at the terms and conditions of the program itself. Some programs, like a hotel reward program, may specify that points are not transferable to a spouse in divorce.
Even in those instances where the points must stay with one spouse, however, the other spouse may be entitled to the cash equivalent of the points or rewards. This entails valuation of the points or rewards, which is not always as easy as it may seem. By working with a qualified attorney, however, a specific value may be placed on rewards points, like any other asset. Once this is done, the process of asset division is carried out, which each spouse attaining what is equitable.
Source: Forbes, “Divorce: who gets the air miles?,” Jeff Landers, Jun. 26, 2013