Trial court’s refusal to consider stock option income for maintenance was an error of law. Trial court also erroneously exercised its discretion by excluding the options from property division even though they were “under water” because the options were earned while the parties were married.
Trial court has discretion to exclude non-exercisable stock options, to decline to divide underwater vested options and value the vested portion by subtracting the exercise value and taxes from the market value.
No abuse of discretion by court in ruling that only option that was exercisable as of the first day of trial would be considered part of the marital estate.
A stock option is an enforceable contract right, an economic resource comparable to other employee benefits, and thus a form of property and properly included in the marital estate.
Reduction of stock portfolio for taxes was reasonable, as evidence supported a finding that stocks would probably be sold, as husband would be unable to make property division payments out of earned income.
Stock options are part marital and part separate property.
Trial court acted within its discretion in including former husband’s gains from exercise of stock options as part of his gross income for purposes of calculating alimony payments, though former husband asserted that stock options were not regular source of income and that brokerage account had been assigned to him under terms of divorce decree.
Redemption by a corporation of wife’s stock, which was jointly held by divorcing spouses, is not a taxable event.
Stock options granted during the marriage are marital property, regardless of when the right exercise matures, if they are granted as compensation for past services, rather than for future services.
Present value of stock options are calculated by subtracting the option cost from the market price of the stock. If the market price is lower than the option cost, then the options are worthless and need not be allocated between the parties.
Unvested stock options given to husband one month before the divorce are not marital property.
Stock options granted during marriage, but not exercisable until after divorce are divisible. The options are an enforceable right, not a mere expectancy.
Non-vested stock options are not marital property, as the holder has no enforceable right and the grant of the option is conditional.
Stock options and restricted stock grant are partial marital property.
Portion of stock options exercisable during the marriage are subject to distribution, but not those exercisable in later years.