Complex Compensation Issues
Questions regarding compensation in the form of stock options, performance pay and bonuses can be highly complex and can directly affect support awards.
Schapiro Thorn Inc. is a San Francisco family law firm focusing on high-asset divorce cases. Most of these involve complex compensation issues of one sort or another. Our attorneys have experience in and understand complex compensation issues involving stock options, deferred compensation, pensions and 401(k) assets, hidden income and other issues. We will use the services of compensation experts when appropriate.
We will work to achieve a property division or spousal support settlement that is fair and which protects your rights and assets.
A Retention Bonus or Reward for Past Performance?
The purpose of a stock option may be difficult to determine at first glance. It may represent a reward for past performance. It may also be given as a form of retention bonus. The purpose of the option is important to determine because it may affect the characterization of the reward as separate or community property.
The actual value of a stock option may be difficult to determine if the stock is in a startup or closely held corporation. When is this compensation actually “received”? What is its value? Does the other spouse deserve a portion of this compensation?
These are not easy questions to answer. Schapiro Thorn Inc. understands case law as it affects the issue of deferred compensation. We will analyze your situation and use the facts and the law to argue forcefully on your behalf.
Hidden Income Cases
Other complex compensation issues can involve spouses who are self-employed or have sources of hidden income. Schapiro Thorn Inc. has experience in a wide range of cases involving hard-to-identify income streams.
When it will be useful to our client’s cause, we can call upon forensic accountants, financial analysts and private investigators who can support our client’s case. In this regard, our capabilities extend internationally. Our family law firm has working relationships with many foreign firms that can investigate foreign sources of income when those exist.