Kiplinger: How to Divorce a Millionaire (Tip: Watch Out for Executive Compensation)

In Custody

New York divorce attorney and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Lisa Zeiderman was included in this recent Kiplinger article by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA®, CES™ discussing tips about how to divorce a millionaire. Specifically, Lisa explains how you can divide valuable executive compensation assets:

“It is crucial to consider taxes when you value and divide these assets. Too many divorcing spouses leave money on the negotiation table because their team of experts did not advise them properly about the tax consequences of exercising stock options.”

“One of the biggest challenges includes how to separate stock options in a divorce. Division can get messy because most employers do not allow stock options or restricted stock to be transferred to another person, even if there is a divorce.”

“The employee spouse must hold the stock options or restricted stock in a constructive trust to benefit the non-employee spouse. Your lawyer must include this language in drafting the settlement agreement to protect you and ensure that you receive your fair share of the options and restricted stock.”

“Your lawyer will also want to address the tax ramifications in the legal agreement. When the shares are exercised or sold, the employee spouse is responsible for paying all of the taxes due even if they must transfer the proceeds to the non-employee spouse. Essentially, one person could get stuck paying taxes for the entire amount of the stock, while the other slips away with the whole value.”

Read the full article here.

Lisa Zeiderman is Managing Partner at Miller, Zeiderman LLP. A New York Divorce Attorney, CFL and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, she regularly handles complex financial and custody divorce matters for high net worth individuals with a goal of equitable distribution. Named a 2019 10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys, Ms. Zeiderman is also a founding member of the American Academy of Certified Financial Litigators and a member of the panel for Attorneys for Children.

In addition to authoring a well-read blog on Psychology Today, “Legal Matters: Understanding Mental Health Issues as They Apply to Divorce and Child Custody,” Ms. Zeiderman is regularly published in various legal publications and quoted on issues ranging from financial empowerment to tax issues to child custody.

Ms. Zeiderman, a Fordham University of Law graduate, also serves on two not for profit boards: Savvy Ladies, Inc., and LIFT, Legal Information for Families Today.

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