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Marital Property: Dividing Stock Options In Divorce

The division of property in a divorce can be contentious and complicated, especially when it comes to marital property like retirement assets and stock options. Attorney Frank Tournour can help. With an office in East Brunswick, Tournour Law is solely devoted to family law services, and we assist clients throughout New Jersey with their divorce and property division issues.

Determining What Is Fair And Equitable Distribution

In New Jersey, marital property is divided equitably. Being an equitable distribution state doesn’t necessarily mean property is divided equally; it means that marital property is divided in a way that is fair for both parties. The goal is to provide each party with fair compensation for any financial successes that were earned during the marriage. However, certain marital assets in high net worth divorces, like stock options, can be difficult to identify, let alone divide equitably in a divorce.

In a contested divorce, the court will attempt to determine a monetary value for every marital asset. The more work a divorce lawyer does to thoroughly identify and assess the value of every marital asset for his client in advance of trial, the higher the potential is for success with settlement negotiations.

Assessing The Value Of Unexercised Stock Options

A stock option, also known as an equity option, gives an investor the right to buy or sell a stock at a certain date. However, the investor is not obligated to buy or sell the stock, which can ultimately make its value as a marital asset extremely difficult to determine. But ultimately, because it is an equity derivative, it has worth that can be assigned a monetary value.

There are many factors that can go into determining the value of a stock option, including:

  • The grant date, or the date the stock was granted to the recipient
  • The grant price set by the company at the grant date, or the amount you pay for each share
  • The vesting date, or the date in which the options can be exercised
  • The expiration date, or the end of the option’s life
  • The stock’s volatility, or the rate that the stock increases or decreases over a certain period of time

Our attorney, Frank Tournour, has the experience and the resources needed to accurately assess and value complicated marital assets, like stock options. As an accredited mediator, Mr. Tournour is called on to assist other parties as they work together toward equitable distribution resolutions, including agreements regarding the value of complex assets.

Does Your High-Asset Divorce Involve Stock Options? Call Today.

As an attorney with decades of experience, Frank Tournour can help facilitate the valuation and equitable distribution of complicated assets, such as stock options, in a divorce. Call our firm today at 732-913-3634 or email us to schedule an initial consultation.