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Dealing with stock options and restricted stock in a divorce

When a couple determines that their marital issues outweigh their happiness, it often means that dissolution is their best option. Married couples in Ohio understand that the divorce process includes numerous challenges and obstacles. A high asset divorce is especially challenging due to potentially complex property division and disputes surrounding marital assets. Divorcing spouses should ensure that they do not overlook any important issues, property or assets during their divorce. This will help promote a more effective and time-efficient resolution of the divorce case.

The valuation and distribution process can be complex in a high asset divorce. This is commonly experienced when the couple needs to divide stock options and restricted stock. These marital assets are potentially very valuable, so divorcing spouses will seek to divide them fairly, but this is not so easily done.

When stock options and restricted stock are to be divided, there are some steps that need to be taken to ensure that the division is properly carried out. First, the existence of the stocks should be confirmed, followed by an evaluation of their worth. The valuation step can be complicated because both types of stocks are used to compensate an employee at a future date. This is true when stocks have been granted to an individual, but they have not yet been vested. The current value of these stocks is always available, but there is no guarantee that they will be worth just as much or even more in the future.

When reaching a divorce settlement involving stock, there should be a fair distribution. The divorcing couple should also plan for exercising the options available to the stocks. A financial professional will often explain and recommend these options. Both spouses should be aware of all available options. Lastly, divorcing couples should consider taxes when it comes to the various types of stock that they are dividing.

A high asset divorce can be a complex and time consuming process, but if the divorcing couple takes the time to understand the issues they encounter, the process could go much more smoothly. Those struggling in the asset distribution process should seek guidance to better explain their options so that they can take appropriate action.

Source: Forbes, "Dividing Stock Options And Restricted Stock In Divorce," Jeff Landers, Mar. 19, 2014

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