Divorce is always difficult to some degree. If you or your spouse is a high-powered executive, this could make a divorce more complicated. More than 15 million employees have restricted stock plans and stock options, the number is expected to increase in the next few years. If you’re divorcing in Arizona, it’s important to know how those stocks and other assets will be divided.
Avani Ramnani, one of the country’s best divorce financial planners, states that corporations use stock plans to boost company morale and encourage productivity. This is who the employer retains great talent. When a couple decides to end their marriage, stocks become viable assets.
More on stock options
As a way to encourage hard work, employers will often provide workers with the option to purchase company stock in the future. The cost of the stock will remain at the same price point it was on the day the stock was granted. The stock does have a vesting period, however, so employees may not be able to access the stock for up to five years after the issue date. This means an ex-spouse may be entitled to the funds if they become available after a divorce.
How to divide stock assets
One matrimonial attorney asset that becomes one of the biggest obstacles in a high-asset divorce is how to accurately separate stocks. The division can be complicated because most employers do not permit restricted stock or stock options to be transferred to someone else, including a spouse or ex-spouse. The employee spouse who holds the stock must put the funds in a constructive trust and the trust should be designed to benefit the other spouse.
Speak with a qualified lawyer to determine the legal terms of your high-asset divorce. Working with an attorney increases the chances that divorce is as expedient as possible.