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Stock Options in a Divorce .

Subpoenas in a Divorce

A California subpoena is a legal document that requires the person receiving it to do something as a mandatory request. The recipient cannot refuse to obey the document unless he or she has a legally sound reason. For example, a doctor can refuse to comply with a subpoena asking for medical records. Subpoenas are typically used in divorce cases to compel nonparties to attend court and testify and/or deliver information such as business documents. The subpoena is issued by the attorney, by legal counsel, or by the clerk of the court; if you are representing yourself.

There are different types of subpoenas, depending on a person’s needs:

• A Civil Subpoena for Personal Appearance at Trial or Hearing: This commands a nonparty to appear and testify. This type of subpoena is useful if a party wishes to make a person appear at an evidentiary hearing or trial and be a witness to testify against the divorcing party.

• A Subpoena for Production of Business Records: This commands a nonparty to produce business records. The subpoena includes a request that the witness bring certain documents with them at the trial or hearing. In most cases, the witness is asked to bring business documents, such as financial records. For example the wife/husband may include in this subpoena a request that their employer bring a printout of the working calendar where wife/husband is scheduled—in order to show what days husband worked during a certain period of time. This would be used to prove husband is dishonest about being unemployed.

• A Deposition Subpoenas For Personal Appearance and Production of Documents and Things: This commands a nonparty to appear, testify, and produce records and/or other things. Typical records in a divorce or support matter would include: bank records, credit-card statements, investment accounts, employment records, medical records, etc.

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group to help you with your divorce. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to helping you through the divorce process.

  • high net worth divorce

What Not To Do in a High Net Worth Divorce

In a high net worth divorce, the list of assets is so large that divorcing couples find they agree on dividing some things, but not on others, and neither wants to budge. Stress is high when large amounts of money, property, businesses, assets and other items are at stake. The divorcing party can be very emotional and often feels betrayed, angry, aggrieved, disappointed and might let these emotions influence their decisions.

These factors create a recipe for mistakes on both sides of the divorce, which have long-term effects on both spouses and/or their children. Here are a few things to avoid during a high net worth divorce:

• Guilt: When a spouse wants a divorce, they are bound to feel guilt for the other, despite justification. The spouse feeling guilt tends to give more money than hey should. When it comes to financial assets, decisions should be made similar to dissolution of a business rather than with emotions.

• Agreeing to anything to be out of the divorce: A spouse filing due to domestic/physical violence, or being in love with someone else is willing to do anything to be away from their current spouse. It is important to have a thorough analysis because this can lead to damaging effects on you financially.

• Failing to account for, or hiding assets: It is common to want to hide or transfer assets in a high net worth divorce. Transferring valuable assets to another person, such as, a business partner, will be seen as fraudulent and you will lose credibility in court. It is important to take the research process seriously for the law mandates the financial documents you find.

• Listening to non-professionals: During difficult life changing experiences, we often seek council from the people closest to us. While that might be good for your emotions, it may not be the best legal and financial advise you can get. Everyone’s experience is different and in a high net worth divorce, protecting your financial assets is key. Seeking professional guidance in the specific areas or getting a team together is a step in the right direction. Keep in mind that laws change and every judge is different.

These are only a few mistakes made in high net worth divorces, most all of which can be prevented when you hire a good divorce attorney.

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group to help you protect your net worth in a divorce. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to helping you through the divorce process.

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  • Dividing Stock in Divorce

Dividing Stock in Divorce

Dividing stock is not the same as dividing business and marital assets in a divorce. Once determining that there is stock, the type must be clarified as well. It is important to know that there are two kinds of stock, options and restricted.

Stock options are purchased by the employee and cannot be sold to a third party. Restricted stock refers to stock of a company that is not fully transferable until certain conditions (restrictions) have been met.
Stock options and restricted stock do not have any real immediate value and can be difficult to value and divide. However, California courts have determined several ways to deal with the division of stock options in divorce.

Overall allocation of stock options upon divorce requires two steps: the court determining what portion of the stock constitutes marital property and then deciding the value to apply to this portion. Dividing stock during a divorce generally depends on the circumstances of each case and upon the “time rule.”

The time rule formula generally takes into account the following:
• Number of years the employee spouse has worked for the company
• The years of the marriage
• The time lapse between granting and vesting & the relation between those time periods
• The date of separation

Although there is no constant division of stock in a California divorce, having a team of professionals such as an expert California divorce and a forensics accountant can certainly place you on the right path when presenting stock information to the court.

Valuing and dividing employee stock options in a California divorce requires an experienced divorce and family law attorney. If you have questions about the division of stock options, contact Thorsteinson Law Group; your Los Angeles, Orange County, Long Beach, and Huntington Beach Divorce and Family Law Attorney.

  • Huntington Beach Divorce

Using a Forensic Accountant in Divorce

Using a forensic accountant can assist the filing spouse in revealing essential information during the preparation stage of the divorce. The accountant can also help provide vital divorce documentation once the divorce process starts. Some forensic accounting services include calculating how much money is available for alimony payments and child support, trace community assets and liabilities, and uncover hidden assets and income streams.It is helpful and beneficial to gain assistance from this type of expert.

Typically forensic accountants are brought on to the divorce team which includes a divorce attorney and depending on the case, a private investigator. This team of experts can be extremely helpful in an non-collaborative or uncontested divorce. Even in a collaborative divorce, a forensic accountant can assist by acting as a “neutral advisor” who provides the divorcing couple with unbiased financial advice. However, a forensic accountant can benefit the spouses regardless of the type of divorce.

Some benefits include:
• Identify and clarify any inconsistencies between financial information and documentation to determine whether or not the other spouse is hiding assets
• Validate financial information with non-financial information.
• Calculate the cash flow, which may be used in calculating support payments
• Assist your attorney in preparing document requests of the other party, preparation of subpoenas, contacts with computer forensics and other professionals, and deposition or trial questions to be asked of the other party’s forensic accountant.
• Testify and provide input in court or at depositions and during the settlement process.

Having a forensic accountant paired with your family divorce lawyer would be an asset to your divorce process team. Non-expert advice always is comforting, but leave it to the experts to get you the best legal advice to help you in the long run.

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group , your trusted Huntington Beach divorce lawyer to help you with your California divorce. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to helping you through the divorce process.

Valuing and Dividing Employee Stock Options in Divorce

In recent years, employers have increasingly compensated executives and employees with stock options. This means that divorce and family law attorneys need to understand how to accurately value and transfer stock options as marital property in a divorce.

California law states that all assets acquired during the marriage are considered community property; this includes any “earned” stock options. Typically, any stock options granted to the employee spouse before the couple married or after the couple separated are considered the employee spouse’s separate property, and not subject to division in the divorce.

Stock options that can’t be sold to a third party or don’t have any real value (for example, stock options in a private company or unvested options) can be difficult to value and divide. California courts use variations of a formula called a “time rule” to determine the stock option’s value. A court may first want to determine why the options were granted to the employee (e.g., in order to attract the employee to the job, as a reward for past performance, or as an incentive to continue working for the company) as this will impact which rule is more appropriate.

Generally speaking, the longer the time between the date of separation and the date the options vest, the smaller the overall percentage of options that will be considered community property. For example, if a specific number of options vested one month after separation, then a significant portion of those shares would be considered community property subject to equal division (50/50). However, if the options vested several years after the date of separation, then a much smaller percentage would be considered community property.

Valuing and dividing employee stock options in a California divorce requires an experienced divorce and family law attorney.If you have questions about the division of stock options,contact Thorsteinson Law Group . Los Angeles Divorce and Family Law Attorney. Orange County Divorce and Family Law Attorney.