How are unvested stock options in a divorce handled?

unvested stock options divorce

What about other unvested assets?

Here are more financial mistakes divorce mediation couples often make and how to avoid them

Unvested Assets and Divorce

One such mistake is the failure to identify and divide unvested assets. Some divorcing spouses are under the incorrect assumption that if a Pension, for example, is not vested, or Stock Awards or other forms of compensation are not fully vested at the time of dissolution, there is $0 value. Hence, they are not entitled to such a benefit.

Unvested Stock Options and Deferred Compensation in a Divorce

Unvested stocks, deferred compensation, or other forms of compensation are marital assets and can be assigned to the other spouse in a divorce. Failure to list the unvested assets can be a significant problem for the spouse who owns such assets later post-divorce.

Unvested Retirement Assets and Divorce

The same applies to unvested retirement assets such as unvested pensions. InĀ Bender v. Bender, 258 Conn. 141 (2001), the Supreme Court ruled that unvested pensions are considered marital property and can be subject to division. A pension valuation may be in order, and spouses should carefully consider the value of such pension and vesting dates.

A skilled attorney-mediator or a Pension Attorney can help guide the spouses to equitable distribution. The court looks at multiple factors. All the facts and circumstances when deciding whether an award be shared with a spouse are considered. Similarly, one may want to readĀ Lopiano v. Lopiano, 247 Conn. 356 (1998). While Bender and Lopiao are CT cases, such rules are universal, and spouses should exercise due diligence and work with an attorney-mediator with area practice expertise in family law in his/her jurisdiction.

Read all posts in the series Financial Mistakes Divorce Mediation Couples often make and how to avoid them.

Learn More

To learn more about unvested stock options, divorce, and how divorce mediation can help your case, contact any of our Divorce Attorney Mediators or Certified Divorce Financial Analysts at CT Divorce Mediation Centers. Divorce and Family Mediation, and Collaborative Law are all we do. We have offices in Madison, New Haven, Cheshire, West Hartford, Glastonbury, West Hartford, and Windsor, CT.

To find out more information or schedule a consultation with our divorce experts, call us at (860) 986-1141.

DISCLAIMER: This publication is not meant to constitute legal, accounting, financial, investment advisory, or other professional advice. If legal, financial, investment advisory or other professional assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person such as CT Divorce Mediation Center should be sought.