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Dividing Restricted Stock in a Divorce


Dividing marital assets in a divorce can be complicated, which is one reason why it’s so important to retain skilled legal counsel. As far as marital assets are concerned, you know divorce touches retirement accounts, real estate, the marital residence, cash in bank accounts, and automobiles, but it also affects restricted stock.

If your spouse has restricted stock and you don’t, you may not know what it is. It refers to company stock that is given to an employee at no cost; however, certain conditions have to be met (such as reaching performance goals or staying with a company for a set length of time) before the employee can sell or transfer the stock.

Assets like restricted stock have become popular in recent years, and are a common and valuable aspect of many corporate compensation packages. This article explains how they are a part of the divorce settlement process.

Not Knowing About a Spouse’s Restricted Stock

If someone does not know about their spouse’s restricted stock, it can have major financial consequences, and it’s not uncommon for a spouse to be in the dark about them. Restricted stock does not appear on an employee’s W2s or tax returns, nor does it appear on other financial documents that they can access. This is because the restricted stock is not vested.

If a husband or wife knows divorce is on the horizon and they are inclined to hide assets from their spouse, he or she may intentionally conceal the fact that they have restricted stock that will vest at a future date.

If you believe that your spouse may have unvested restricted stock, an attorney from our firm can determine if he or she is hiding the fact that they have restricted stock. We can also nail down the timetable for when the stock can be sold – this may require a subpoena to the human resources department where your spouse works.

To learn more about dividing restricted stock and stock options in a New York divorce, contact us at Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC. We proudly represent clients in Putnam, Orange and Dutchess counties in their divorce proceedings.