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Dividing complicated assets during a divorce in Maryland

A divorce involves a lot of unpleasant emotions, but many Maryland residents who have been through the process can testify that a lot of the process boils down to paperwork. Some of the most complicated of this work involves dividing the marital property, and the more complicated the property, the more complicated the property division. For this reason, high asset divorce often involves a lot more work than divorce for couples with lower incomes.

There are a number of types of assets that can cause headaches in a divorce, but some of the most difficult assets to divide fairly are stock options and restricted stock.

Stock options are often offered as a form of compensation for startup companies and typically give the employee an option to buy the company's stock at a set price at later date. Restricted stock is typically given to employees as part of their compensation but cannot be sold until specified conditions are met.

Both types of assets can bring a windfall to the employee when the company's share value rises dramatically, but there is no guarantee that it will. However, share prices can change dramatically. The fact that a stock option or private stock does not look valuable at the time of the divorce does not mean that the asset has no value. Furthermore, stock options and private stock have value before they've actually matured. Otherwise, they wouldn't have been offered as part of the compensation package.

Without proper guidance, it's easy to overlook or undervalue assets in a divorce. Maryland attorneys with experience in high asset divorce can help their clients to find the best ways to set a value on these complex assets.

Source: Forbes.com, "Dividing Stock Options And Restricted Stock In Divorce," Jeff Landers, March 19, 2014

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