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What happens to airline miles during a divorce?

| Mar 18, 2021 | Divorce |

If you and your spouse love to travel, you may have accumulated thousands of airline miles during your marriage. Now that you are heading for a divorce, you may wonder what is likely to happen to these miles. After all, your miles may be a valuable part of the marital estate.

Like in most other states, divorcing spouses in Massachusetts typically receive an equitable share of the marital estate. While you may be able to keep the airline miles you accrued before you walked down the aisle, any accumulated during your marriage are likely subject to division during your divorce.

How much are airline miles worth?

Many airlines specifically state airline miles have no cash value. Still, the value of the travel perks and other benefits that stem from airline miles may be considerable. For planning purposes, you may want to assume each mile you and your spouse have accrued is worth approximately 1.3 cents, although your miles may have a different value.

Who wants to keep the miles?

You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse probably have a few options for addressing ownership of your joint airline miles. For example, you may be able to split them down the middle or part with them in exchange for something else. Ultimately, though, the program’s rules and restrictions may limit your options.

What do the rules say?

Many rewards programs clearly define what participants may do with airline miles. If your airline prohibits selling or transferring miles, you may simply not be able to take ownership of any miles in your spouse’s name.

When planning for your divorce, it is important to review program rules to fully understand your options. Nevertheless, you have a right to an equitable share of the marital estate, including the benefit of your airline miles.

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