– from Christine N. in Wauwatosa, WI

Question Details:

During the course of our 17-year marriage, my husband received stock options from work. Both of us invested heavily into these stock options. We now want a divorce and understand these must be split, but how does the court split the options?

Family Law Attorney Response:

The court looks to split all marital assets as evenly as possible, including stock options.

The court reviewed stock options in Chen v. Chen 142 Wis.2d 7, 416 N.W.2d 661 (Ct. App. 1987). When stock options are part of the marital estate, the husband and the wife have a presumptive equal interest in them. The marital estate is not to be limited to assets in existence at the time of the parties’ separation, but is to include assets, as they exist at the time of divorce.

Give me a call if you have any more questions.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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