Photo of Professionals at Weinberg, Kaplan & Smith, P.A.
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Dividing future securities interests in a New Jersey divorce

by | Sep 22, 2017 | High Asset Divorce

Getting a divorce can be difficult. Between the emotional stress of a marriage termination and the anxiety of dealing with legal issues, such as property division or child custody and support, it can make one just want to get it over with. However, it is usually a good idea not to rush into a settlement, especially when there is a lot of property to divide.

In these situations, just getting it over with can end up costing a person a lot of money. These high-asset divorces can be more complicated than most not just because of the number of assets involved, but also the type of assets.

It is sometimes difficult enough to deal with the division of say, multiple residential real estate related matters holdings spread around the world, or the club memberships and the boat. However, it is important not to be so focused on these tangible things and miss certain other assets that may end up being worth a large sum. One example would be future interests in securities such as stock options or restricted stock.

With many corporations, these days, offering options or restricted stock as part of a compensation package, often in lieu of a portion of an employee’s traditional salary, understanding the possible value of these assets can be very important. Because options and restricted stock trade resent value for possible future returns, it is not always easy to determine what such assets are worth. In fact, I many cases, a spouse may not be aware that they exist, as until vested, they usually do not appear on tax filings and other financial statements.

However, depending on the company and the number of potential shares involved, such future interests can have great value once a company becomes successful. At the very least, it can pay to do the financial due diligence necessary to at least estimating the worth of these assets. Even if one has no interest in actually takin a portion of such assets (and thus the risk that comes with them), they can be used as leverage in negotiations to attain property one does want.

Because of the complicated nature of such intangible asset valuation many New Jersey residents may need help in this area. This is why it might be a good idea for those involved in a high-asset divorce to consider contacting an experienced family law attorney.