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How are stock options and deferred compensation divided in an Ohio divorce?

Division of Stock Options in Ohio Divorce

When a marriage ends in Ohio, the process of dividing marital assets can be complex, particularly when it involves stock options. Stock options are a form of deferred compensation that gives an employee the right to purchase company stock at a predetermined price. In the context of divorce, these assets must be evaluated and divided equitably between the parties.

In Ohio, stock options granted during the marriage are generally considered marital property. However, the division is not always straightforward. Ohio courts will consider several factors to determine how stock options should be divided:

One famous example illustrating complexities in dividing stock options is the case of Wendt v. Wendt, where Gary Wendt, CEO of GE Capital, went through a contentious divorce that involved significant stock options. This case highlighted issues like potential value versus actual present value and how speculative value should be treated in divorce settlements.

Division of Deferred Compensation in Ohio Divorce

Deferred compensation plans like pensions, retirement accounts, and other benefits accrued during a marriage are also subject to division upon divorce in Ohio. These assets are typically divided using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which recognizes both spouses' legal interest in the deferred compensation.

The division process involves:

An understanding of both federal and state laws is crucial when dividing these types of assets in an Ohio divorce. For personalized guidance, it is advised to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney who can navigate these complex issues.