Stock Options and Other Deferred Compensation

Income from employment can come in many different shapes and sizes. An employee may receive stock options, restricted stock units, or other benefits from their employer as a form of compensation. Stock options and restricted stock awards give the employee a chance to purchase the company’s stock at a pre-determined price at a date in the future and are designed to either reward key employees for past work or can act as an incentive for future work and to ensure that the employee will continue with their employment for the company. Many people choose to participate in this type of deferred compensation, but the division of these assets can be complex and problematic in a divorce particularly if they are not able to be exercised, termed as vested, until some future date after the divorce has been finalized.

One of the complicated aspects of dividing these types of deferred compensation is understanding the underlying purpose of the award of the options or restricted stock and what the applicable method that the Court should and will use to value and divide the same, particularly if they are not yet vested. Having an experienced attorney will help alleviate the stress of the process and give you peace of mind that these assets are being valued and divided appropriately. If you find yourself, a friend or a loved one are looking at divorce and there will be an issue regarding stock options, restricted stock awards or other deferred compensation to be valued and divided, please call the attorneys at OWENS & PERKINS at 480.994.8824 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.