Restricted Stock Units/ Non-Qualified Stock Options

Restricted stock units (RSUs) and non-qualified stock options (NQSOs) are forms of deferred compensation.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some corporations have had less cash to reward their key employees. Non-qualified stock options (NQSOs) and restricted stock will likely continue to be common forms of executive compensation. C-suite employees are not the only ones who receive these bonuses. More and more, entry-level hires also get them, which means they are becoming an issue in more and more divorces.

It is important to understand your spouse’s executive compensation: Stock options, restricted stock, and other forms of executive compensation are among the easiest assets to hide or overlook. Many clients who are not in charge of household finances might not realize that their spouse has these potentially high-income benefits.

There are many issues to consider about these complex financial instruments:

  • Are they vested?
  • Will they be valued?
  • How will they be divided?
  • What are the tax implications?
  • For support purposes, will they be considered an asset, income, or both?
  • Will a company transfer stock to a non-employee spouse?

As both a family law attorney and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Lisa Zeiderman has the financial expertise to ask the right questions and understands where to find the answers regarding deferred compensation. She then can assist in performing a complex financial evaluation of yours and your spouse’s executive compensation to determine their worth, always keeping in mind the cost of litigation.

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