What do credit card reward points have to do with family law?

| Mar 18, 2019 | Family Law |

One of the most difficult and tricky parts of divorce is dealing with property division. Alabama couples have to tackle big decisions, like what to do with the marital house and how to handle retirement savings. These seemingly big decisions can often overshadow less obvious property that count as marital property under family law, including things like credit card reward points.

Whether the rewards are worth cash back on groceries or points toward air travel, credit card reward points have value. If these reward points were earned during the course of a marriage, then barring a prenuptial agreement or other extenuating circumstances, they are considered marital property. The points might be separate property if one person can demonstrate that they opened the card and earned the related reward points before getting married.

Once a couple has figured out which reward points are marital property, they need to determine their cash value. Credit card companies do not always provide the cash value of the points, so it might take some time to establish the cash value, which will likely vary from card to card. Understanding the cash value of the points will help couples ensure that they split their property as equitably — or fairly — as possible. Before making any final decisions couples should be sure to research whether it is even possible to transfer points from one account to another and, if so, if there is an associated fee.

Deciding who gets what is often trickier than many couples expect it to be. People often envision property division as deciding who gets the house and the car and not much else. In reality, couples have to address even seemingly unimportant property, like credit card reward points and more. This can be overwhelming and even exhausting, but an experienced family law attorney might be able to provide valuable insight to those who are struggling with the process.