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2011: Divorce and Frequent Flyer Miles in San Diego Family Law Court for Either A Divorce or Legal Separation

Divorce can be a complicated procedure that involves the preparation of the correct legal documents of the division of assets, even custody settlements, and much more. The lawyers, however, do try making the process as painless and straightforward as possible. Many couples spend fortunes because they do not know the law or just assume they have to fight their way through; you need to understand that there is no need for an attorney if you are willing to work together. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can give you advice based on the circumstances and facts of your individual case. A free in-person or virtual consultation is offered up to one half hour with an experienced Family Law Lawyer. Their law firm can be reached by calling 800-769-4748.

In San Diego, msny spouses have frequent flyer miles on their credit cards that assemble from the date of marriage till separation. Points are earned under FFPs (frequent flyer program) based on the class of fare, distance flew on that airline or its partners, or the amount paid. Each airline has different policies and procedures for their airline miles. Some are transferrable and some may not be.

The issue of flyer miles frequently arises whether the case is a divorce or legal separation. The division of this community property asset is a part of the divorce or legal separation in San Diego. These frequent flyer miles can add up to free travel and can redeem for many other benefits, which include long-distance calls, renting cars, staying in a hotel, and many others. The miles are used in a “global settlement’ with an offset for a division of another asset or debt.

The first issue raised is how frequent flyer miles assemble from the date of marriage until the time of separation? If, under twenty-five thousand frequent flyer miles, then they may not have a significant community property value depending on the airline. If there are hundreds of thousands or even millions of miles, then these can have substantial community property worth. Many credit card companies partner with airlines and offer a co-branded credit card or the ability to transfer points in their loyalty program to an airline schedule.

The other issue is whether or not the miles themselves are divisible as above? Since each airline has its own policy or set of rules that they follow, the only way to be sure is to contact the airlines directly. If the miles are divided, then each spouse can take one-half of the community property miles. If the miles distribution is not possible, then an offsetting equalization is made. There may be chances for the holder of the miles to have ticket issues in the name of the other spouse. In such cases, the miles redeemed for the spouse’s ticket is offset against the remaining number of miles.

Finally, the third issue is if the miles expire and if so, then when? If the miles have no expiry date, then time is more available to accomplish the division. If they do have an expiration date, the division must be completed within the time frame. Many credit card companies partner with airlines and offer a co-branded credit card or the ability to transfer points in their loyalty program to other airlines as well such as One World. Massive sign-up bonuses and other incentives are standard. Accruing points via credit card bonuses and spending allow infrequent travelers to benefit from the frequent flyer program.

But you should keep in mind that during the negotiations of your divorce settlement, the standard procedure is to monetize [valu] the air miles and all other reward points.

If there is any travel order for custody and visitation, then it is possible to use the frequent flyer miles and then offset them from the division of the community property. If you have any inquiries regarding paternity, divorce, or legal separation, feel free to contact Doppelt and Forney, APLC for a private and confidential consultation. The laws apply to all and are the same however facts and evidence can produce different results in litigation. Settlement is always preferable to save attorney fees and costs as much as possible. To settle, it is crucial to know what a realistic outcome would be for each issue you have in your case. Some will have custody and parenting issues and some will not. Some will have airline miles to divide and some will not. Knowing your rights is very important.

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