Equitably Dividing Property Between Spouses
After a marriage ends, all marital property is divided between the two parties. Massachusetts is an equitable division state, meaning all property is divided fairly between the couple.
Although some people assume that an "equitable distribution" means an "equal distribution," that is not necessarily the case. Judges may distribute a greater share of marital assets to one of the spouses if the facts of a case warrant a disproportionate distribution.
Protecting Your Financial Rights
Whether you are structuring a divorce settlement or taking your case to trial, you need an experienced divorce lawyer who will protect your financial rights. You need an attorney who will carefully examine your financial situation and develop a comprehensive legal plan with an eye toward your future security.
At Mavrides Law, you will receive the effective representation you require. Attorney Marcia Mavrides has been helping clients in divorce and family law cases for more than 30 years.
When clients hire Mavrides Law, they work with an attorney who helps them understand the impact property division will have on other areas of their life. Attorney Mavrides helps clients make informed decisions about difficult property division issues. She handles all aspects of property division within a divorce, including:
- Real estate
- Retirement accounts
- Business entities
- Investment accounts
- Stock options
In some situations, the opposing side may not provide full information regarding their assets. For that reason, an attorney needs to have good analytical and investigation skills. Attorney Mavrides acts as a strong advocate for her clients, making persuasive arguments regarding the division of marital property and performing thorough asset valuations.
A Comprehensive Approach
At Mavrides Law, property division issues are considered within a wider context to take into account your total financial picture after divorce. The firm considers a broad range of issues that impact your future security, including:
- Property division
- Child support
- Allocation of marital debts
Working from a broad-based approach, Mavrides Law seeks to place you in the best position for future success.
Division of Stock Options & RSUs in a Massachusetts Divorce
If your company offers stock options, you might be wondering if and how those options will be divided as a part of your divorce. If you have unvested options, you may be even more confused as to how they can be divided. This is where the Baccanti formula comes into play.
The "Baccanti Formula" was derived from a decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) in 2001 (Baccanti v. Morton) that held that unvested stock options should be considered as assets in a divorce. If you are interesting in reading further on this subject, please take a look at our blogs on how stock options are valued in a Massachusetts divorce, and also a discussion on whether unvested stock options are considered part of the marital estate in a divorce.
In a divorce, stock options and RSUs are handled similarly. Each form of compensation has a vesting period, and each is paid out to the employee as taxable W-2 income. RSUs are often easier to plan for in a divorce than stock options since most RSUs pay out on a fixed schedule. Stock on the other hand, vests over a period of years and the value is not fixed. Since RSUs represent a guaranteed payout that is solely contingent on the spouse's continued employment, they are potentially a more secure "asset" than stock options. Stock options, on the other hand, are only valuable if the stock price rises.
In either case, nothing in Massachusetts case law suggests that RSUs should be treated differently than stock options in a divorce case, given the broadly similar intent and tax treatment of payouts from each instrument.
Wellesley Property Division Lawyers • Boston Property Division Lawyers
If you need to speak with a divorce attorney, contact Mavrides Law in Boston or Wellesley, Massachusetts. For assistance, call 617-723-9900 or contact the firm by email.