Happenings Around The Firm
Congratulations to Divorce Matters' Jose Gomez and his wife for being awarded the Christmas On Us award given for their selfless community outreach helping at risk youth and low income families.

With the money they were awarded, they bought Christmas presents for the people they help in their outreach this holiday season! We are proud to have Jose on our team!
Co-Parenting During the Holiday Season
Co-parenting isn’t always the easiest to navigate during normal times of the year but when you inject the holidays into the mix it can seem downright impossible. The important thing to keep in mind is that it isn’t really about you or your ex—it’s really about your children. When you remember this, it can help you through anything the holiday season might throw your way. And with a little advanced planning with your co-parent this holiday season should go nice and smooth.

The biggest thing to remember is that your children are the focus this holiday season. Try to make things as easy as possible for them, even if that means you won’t get them on exactly the days that you want. This will require advanced planning between you and your co-parent, seeing which days make sense for whom so that your children get to visit with family and still enjoy their time. This will also require some flexibility on your part in case things don’t’ go exactly as planned so that even if this happens, your children barely register the difference.

You will also want to make sure that you coordinate gifts with your co-parent. Not only do you not want to repeat a gift for your child, but you also want to make sure that you both agree upon a certain level of spend. You’ll want to make sure that one co-parent doesn’t feel alienated because the other buys extravagantly. You also want to show a united front and to do so you must make sure that things off limits in one household aren’t being provided in another.

Finally, make sure that you prioritize a little bit of time for yourself. If you aren’t going to have your children the entire holiday season don’t let that time alone daunt you. Use this time for yourself, to relax and enjoy yourself. Spend some quality time with friends you haven’t seen in a while and catch up. Or you can use the time to take a relaxing bath and watch your favorite movies. Whatever helps you destress, use the time you have alone to do just that and you’ll feel rejuvenated.
Stock Options During a Divorce
Stock options are a common form of compensation, the idea being to align the interests of the company and the employee. Therefore, the employee will have a vested interested in the company’s performance. But when spouses no longer have a vested interest in one another, the question arises over who has a vested interest in the stock options.

Stock options present one of the more complicated issues in the division of property during a divorce. First a court must determine if the options are “vested.” The term vested for family law may be very different than vested for IRS purposes. In family law the courts look to determine whether the employer can withdraw or retract the options.

To be martial property the options must also have matured. By matured, the focus is whether the option holder can exercise the options or turn them into cash. Then, the court must determine whether a vested and matured option is martial property which is often very specific to each individual case. An option to induce some future performance such as continued employment is usually not marital property. An option for some past performance usually is martial property. For example, an option granted to induce a move in work location or an option granted to change companies would be marital property.

Each option grant has to be evaluated separately to determine the nature and extent that option is marital or separate property.