Are my stock options divisible in Wisconsin? global $post;
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– from Kathleen T. in Hartland, WI

Question Details:

During my marriage, I invested in the company I have worked for since it was an upstart. I own stock options which will not mature for several more years. I am now contemplating divorce. I know most of what can and will be divisible, but I have one question. Are my stock options divisible, even though they won’t mature until long after our divorce is finalized?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Absolutely. The court will exercise their discretion on the matter of property division based on the specifics of your case, and stock options are not off the table.

This was seen in the case of Chen v. Chen 142 Wis. 2d 7, 416 N.W.2d 661 (Ct. App. 1987). Here, the husband appealed the property division award believing an error had been made in regards to his stock options, which would not be able to be exercised until after the divorce. The court awarded his wife 50% of the net profits, whatever they may be, when the stock was liquidated. The court of appeals affirmed the decision.

If you are beginning divorce proceedings, you should contact an attorney experienced in family law right away.

Trisha Festerling, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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