The Family Lawyer's Guide to Stock Options
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The Family Lawyer's Guide to Stock Options

Includes CD-ROM
The Family Lawyer's Guide to Stock Options
Product Code: 5130147
Authors: Lester Barenbaum, Robert D. Feder, Walter Schubert
Publication Date: May 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59031-790-7
Page Count: 154
Trim Size: 6 x 9 Paper + CD-ROM
Sponsoring Entities: Section of Family Law
Topics: Employee Benefits, Family Law, Securities Law
Format: Book - 5130147
Pricing: $69.95 (Regular)
$59.95 (Section of Family Law) ABA Members, Log in now to receive this discount!
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About the Book

Over 14 million American workers now receive employee stock options -- a number similar to the workers who belong to labor unions. It's highly likely that most family lawyers will at some point represent a client who has or is entitled to some portion of this complicated aspect of marital property. The Family Lawyer's Guide to Stock Options is a handy, practice-focused guide to all aspects of employee stock options and their equitable division in divorce.

The Family Lawyer's Guide to Stock Options provides comprehensive guidance on the valuation, taxation, and distribution of stock options upon divorce, including sample provisions for property settlement agreements. It begins with a discussion of how and when employee stock options are considered marital property through a review of major court cases. Following this, the authors discuss stock option terminology and how they are valued based on certain critical assumptions and how those assumptions are validated.

Employee tax liability resulting from the exercise of stock options is an important factor that family lawyers must also address as part of any property settlement. The book discusses how taxation differs between qualified incentive stock options and nonqualified options, incorporating new tax rulings and examples of how they impact the net proceeds from the exercise of options. If the options are marital property, the book covers the advantages and disadvantages of the two typical methods of distribution: the immediate offset approach and the deferred distribution method.

The final chapter offers advice on considering stock options as income for alimony and child support cases. The overview of the issues when option income should be counted as part of gross income is followed by a review of major court cases dealing with the issue. It provides information on the use of a constructive trust to manage the use of employee stock options as part of child support.

Containing a wealth of practical advice, The Family Lawyer's Guide to Stock Options provides information necessary in dealing with this complex subject, including:
  • Factors that help determine whether options were granted for past or future service

  • Examples of time-rule formulas to allocate unvested employee stock options into marital and separate property

  • How employee stock option valuation differs from that of traded stock options

  • Strategies to use in determining if stock options impact child support and alimony


  • The Family Lawyer's Guide to Stock Options provides time-saving tools for the family lawyer facing a divorce case involving employee stock options, including:
  • 50-state survey of all reported stock options cases

  • Sample provisions for property settlement agreements

  • In-depth discussion of the tax ramifications of stock options

  • Discovery checklist of items to request

  • Charts of nationwide court decisions on stock options as income for child support and for alimony and spousal maintenance

  • Glossary of terms

  • CD-ROM with appendices, including sample language, checklists, and charts
  • More Information

    Table of Contents PDF
    Introduction PDF


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