A fair and equitable property division in a Florida high net worth divorce requires an accurate valuation of marital assets.
However, some cases may prove more complicated than others, presenting a wide array of particular intricacies that involve:
- intellectual property
- art, antiques, and collectibles
One such category of assets that have substantial value or are challenging to value comes in the form of stock options or restricted stock.
Understanding Stocks in a Florida High Asset Divorce
Equitable division of marital property becomes a significant undertaking when substantial assets are involved, and proper valuations of stock options or restricted stock are needed:
- Stock options - provide an employee the right to purchase stock for a set price at a future time when the price of the stock will be lower than the initial price. This allows the employee to sell the stock at a profit.
- Restricted stock - is provided to an employee at no cost and cannot be sold or transferred until a future time when certain conditions are favorable (for instance, after a certain period of employment time has passed).
While stock options and restricted stock may be in the name of one spouse, they may also be considered part of the marital property in a high net worth divorce, meaning they must be divided between the parties according to Florida law. The parties must reach an agreement on the value of the stocks before they can divide them, and they typically hire valuation experts to estimate their value:
- Dividing the value - when the parties have a dollar figure to work with, they can use other assets to make up the difference.
- Deferring distribution - the parties may agree that the value will be divided only if and when the options are actually exercised, sharing an agreed-upon percentage with their ex-spouse.
- Transferring the options - for certain types of stock options, ownership of some or all options can be transferred to the ex as part of the divorce settlement.
Hiring an Experienced Florida High Asset Divorce Attorney
An accomplished high asset divorce attorney can inform parting spouses of the legal and financial implications and is prepared to fight for your rights and secure the services of business valuation experts and other professionals who can provide expert testimony in your favor.
The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary has vast experience in dealing with substantial assets involved in a high net worth divorce and can ensure that property is distributed fairly under Florida law.
Get in touch with us today for a free consultation, and we will promptly answer all your questions and guide you throughout every step of your high asset divorce case.