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Who gets airline miles during divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2019 | Family Law

Every year in Virginia, thousands of couples go through divorce. State law requires couples to perform an equitable division of assets, which may not necessarily be an equal division. Most divorcing couples know they will need to split the family home, vehicles and other valuable objects. However, many couples overlook one vital asset: airline reward miles. Some couples rack up thousands of miles in just to one day flying to an incredible vacation, and their accumulated miles may be valuable. During divorce, you need to decide who now owns these miles.

Look at the terms and conditions

You should first check to see if the airline miles are in your name or your spouse’s. You then need to read the terms and conditions. Occasionally, airline miles have terms that state the miles cannot transfer to another spouse during divorce. In this case, the miles stay with the person, and the other spouse would get assets in equal value to the miles.

Determine the value of the airline miles

When you read the terms and conditions sheet, you will find that the airlines do not assign a monetary value to the points. This can make it difficult to determine an exact value. You need to work with your lawyer to determine the monetary value of your acquired points. This may be easier with some programs than others. For example, some programs state you can redeem a free flight after traveling a certain number of miles. That free flight has a value, and that value equates to the number of points.

Check if you can divide the points into two accounts

Some programs allow you to split your points into two separate accounts. If you can do this, then it may be the easiest option. There may be a fee for transferring. It is vital to remember when dividing your points to not let your emotions get in the way of an amicable separation.