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How to Handle Stock Options in the Context of Divorce Proceedings

Stock options, or the granting of stock options, can be a valuable asset within the marital estate. Although common stock is an asset, the granting of stock options, including relating to common stock, can be taxed as income.

Stock options, and income taxes relating to same may have an impact on spousal support and/or child support.

It may be important that income tax returns be disclosed and/or produced in the course of discover, including to determine how stock options may be treated including as income the income tax returns of the recipient.

After a judgment of divorce is entered, in regard to issues that may relate to spousal support or child support, stock options may be non-marital property because same may have been receive after the dissolution of marriage. On the other hand, if said stock options are taxable, including being identified as income on income tax returns of the receiving parts possibly years after the judgment of dissolution of marriage is entered, that additional income may be a triggering event with respect to a calculation or recalculation of spousal support or child support as may be applicable.


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