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Cases of Interest: Stocks and Securities
National Legal Research Group, Inc.

COLORADO: In re Marriage of Balanson, No. 99SC811 (Colo. May 29, 2001).
What should be the appropriate treatment of unexercised stock options, future interests in family trusts, and interspousal gifts? The couple here married in 1971.
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CONNECTICUT: Kiniry v. Kiniry, 71 Conn. App. 614, 803 A.2d 352 (2002).
The husband and wife were married in 1981. Four children were born of the marriage. The wife filed suit for dissolution in 1998. At the time of the trial, each party was 42 years of age and in good health. Each was a college graduate. The wife had been the co-owner of an executive search firm and was earning approximately $250,000 to $300,000 at the time she ceased working in 1990 following the birth of the couple's fourth child.
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CONNECTICUT: Wendt v. Wendt, ___ Conn. App. ___, 757 A.2d 1225 (2000).
The trial court divided unvested stock options arising from the husband's employment and valued the marital assets as of the date of dissolution, notwithstanding its use of the word "separation".
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CONNECTICUT: Taylor v. Taylor, ___ Conn. App. ___, 752 A.2d 1113 (2000).
The husband's stock options were under contention. The construction turned on whether the stock options were "vested" or not.
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FLORIDA: Nelson v. Nelson, No. 5D99-826 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. June 29, 2001).
The husband graduated from high school, but the wife did not complete high school. The husband was 65 years old at the time of the dissolution; the wife was 61. The wife had suffered various health problems, but at the time of the dissolution was healthy. The husband was in good health with no plans for retirement.
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INDIANA: Pitman v. Pitman, 721 N.E.2d 260 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999).
The husband's transfer of stock shares to his sister and her husband constituted dissipation of marital assets.
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MINNESOTA: Robert v. Zygmunt, 652 N.W.2d 537 (Minn. Ct. App. 2002).
For estate-planning reasons, the wife purchased stock out of an inherited trust, paying for the stock with a note. Value traceable to the stock was used to make payments on the note. Because no marital funds were used, and because the purchase was an estate-planning device, the stock was not marital property.
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MONTANA: Harper v. Harper, ___ Mont. ___, 994 P.2d 1 (1999).
The wife was not entitled to stock shares in a closely held family corporation that had been gifted to the husband by his parents.
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NEBRASKA: Heald v. Heald, 259 Neb. 604, 611 N.W.2d 598 (2000).
The husband's stock in the family corporation was property included in the couple's marital estate, and the husband was entitled to a credit as part of property division for the down payment he made on the marital home.
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NEBRASKA: Dormann v. Dormann, ___ Neb. App. ___, 606 N.W.2d 837 (2000).
The husband's stock in the company where he worked should be considered in determining the division of property. However, a vehicle that the husband acquired after the couple separated was not part of the marital estate.
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NEW HAMPSHIRE: In re Valence, ___ N.H. ___, 798 A.2d 35 (2002).
Stock options of all sorts, vested or unvested, are divisible property upon divorce. Their value should be divided, however, only to the extent that it is consideration for efforts put forth during the marriage, as opposed to efforts put forth after the marriage. On this crucial fact, the case was remanded for further proceedings.
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NEW YORK: Finkelstein v. Finkelstein, ___ A.D.2d ___, 701 N.Y.S.2d 52 (2000).
The husband's investment accounts had to be valued as of the time of the trial, and a capital loss carry-forward that was accumulated by the couple, which could be used to reduce tax liability, constituted a marital asset subject to distribution at divorce.
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TEXAS: Charriere v. Charriere, 7 S.W.3d 217 (Tex. App. 1999).
Stock options received by the wife from her employer were subject to equitable distribution as community property upon dissolution of the marriage but were not subject to proportional allocation between the wife and the husband.
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