In our previous blogs, we received stock options, restricted stock options and restricted stock units. In this blog, we’ll focus on how these stocks will become affected if you file for divorce. Maybe you got awarded stocks by your company and you don’t know if your spouse has a claim to them in the divorce. Or, maybe your spouse received the stocks and you want to know if you can have this property in your divorce. Whatever your situation, this blog will answer some of your questions. You will learn about documents involved in your divorce when dividing stocks and the stock division process in your divorce.
Your attorney should gather certain information regarding your stocks during your divorce. This is especially the case if you have a restricted stock or restricted stock units. You and your attorney should gather the following documents:
In the state of Texas, whether stocks are considered community property or separate property depends on when they were awarded. But before we get into that, we want to review what community and separate property mean. Simply put, all of your assets and debt are divided into community and separate property in divorce. Community property refers to property that both spouses have a claim to. This generally means that the property was purchased over the course of their marriage. For example, the marital home is oftentimes community property because it was purchased during the marriage. Even if only one spouse purchased the home, the other spouse will still have a claim to the home equity and other factors. On the other hand, there is separate property. Separate property belongs to only one spouse. Usually, this is because the property got purchased alone before the marriage took place. For example, if you purchased a car the year before you got married, that car will be considered your own separate property. Your spouse won’t have a claim to it.
In Texas, here are the following options for the division of a restricted stock or restricted stock units:
Determining the exact amount of community and separate property in your situation will likely require the assistance of an attorney. You should consider contacting an experienced divorce attorney to understand your unique situation fully.
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