Orange County Family Law Firm - Hughes and Hughes

Bruce Hughes' Article "Stock Options as Community Property, and as Support" Featured in Orange County Lawyer

hughes bruceBruce Hughes, a partner at Hughes and Hughes, was featured in Orange County Lawyer magazine in January of 2001 for his article on stock options as community property. Each year, over 12,000 married couples request a dissolution of their marriage and many do not realize that any stock options held are consider community property under California law. 

In the article, Bruce reviews the type of factors considered when the judge rules on this property and the formulas used to calculate the value of the options. 

"Generally, the courts will divide the number of shares rather than a specific dollar amount."

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Questions You Need Answered Before Dividing Stock Options in a Divorce Settlement:

  1. What is the community property interest?
  2. What happens if the options are not yet vested?
  3. Is the value of the options determined at the time of the divorce, or at a later time?
  4. Does the division consider the income tax consequences?
  5. Are options considered that are granted before the date of marriage, or after the date of separation?
  6. What if the company granting the options is acquired and the vesting is accelerated?
  7. Who exercises the options?

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Latest News

 Bruce and Lisa Hughes worked with Senator Moorlach for the past year (July 2015-July 2016) on Senate Bill 1255. This bill was important to the citizens of the State of California and ultimately became California Family Code Section 70. This new provision resolved an issue raised by the Supreme Court on the Date of Separation between divorcing parties. The Date of Separationis vitally important as it determines when the marriage ended. This date is used to determine the legnth of marriage for Spousal Support purposes; it is used to calculate the community share of various financial instruments such as bonuses, stock options and retirement accounts. We were very pleased to have initiated this effort and monitored and revised the bill throughout its progress in cooperation with Senator's staff.

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