Stock option plans may be involved in a Texas divorce

The topic of property division typically comes up when people discuss divorce. When high-profile stories hit the news, there may be discussions about multiple homes or other real estate issues that need to be addressed. Cars, jewelry and a host of items may issues that make the news. But, in many situations, one or both of the people heading to divorce court may have assets that are less tantalizing to the general public, but very important for the parties involved.

Many companies in Texas have programs available for employees that provide benefits such as an employee stock ownership plan, providing a vehicle for workers to have an opportunity to own a part of the business. Plans may be set up differently from company to company, and classifying the nature of an option can be complex.

Several steps may be involved in determining how a stock option affects the marital estate. First, it may be necessary to determine if this type of asset even exists during the divorce process. Analyzing the nature of any ownership interest may be an important step. Determining the value of an unexercised option may require analysis, especially when a company is privately owned.

Alongside stock options are other investment vehicles that people may receive as a part of a compensation package, such as restricted stocks. Again, the existence, nature of potential ownership interest and the value of a restricted stock can involve intricate legal analysis.

When a person is facing divorce, any of the “normal” issues may seem daunting. But, each household has a different structure that can have an impact on how the general category (such as property division) is handled in family court. A Fort Worth family law attorney can help a person in navigating the laws that address property division issues in Texas.

Source: Forbes, “Dividing Stock Options And Restricted Stock In Divorce,” Jeff Landers, March 19, 2014