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The different types of executive compensation following a divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2023 | Divorce |

Getting married to a high-earning executive in Florida can bring many advantages, including a lifestyle of luxury and financial security. But if the marriage ends in divorce, the same assets that brought so much benefit can quickly become a source of contention. You may be entitled to a share of your ex-spouse’s executive compensation under the law, but what exactly does that look like? Here are the different types of executive compensation that might be affected when a high-earning executive is divorced.

Stock options

Stock options are a form of incentive-based compensation, typically given to executives for good performance. In Florida, you may be entitled to a portion of your ex-spouse’s stock options as part of the divorce settlement. This could include stocks, bonds, or other securities your spouse owns. It could also include any gains made from exercising those options.

Deferred compensation plans

Although most of an executive’s income is typically paid out in a lump sum, some compensation is held in a deferred compensation plan. These funds are not immediately available to the executive, but they are still considered an asset that must be divided during the divorce. You may receive a portion of your ex-spouse’s deferred compensation plan as part of the settlement.

Salary and bonuses

Your ex-spouse’s salary as an executive may also be considered during the divorce process. Bonuses they receive for good performance or for staying on with the company may also be considered. If they are awarded a raise or promotion during the divorce proceedings, that information may also be considered.

Retirement plans and pensions

If your spouse has a company pension plan, 401(k), or another retirement account, you may be entitled to a portion of the assets in these accounts. This includes any contributions they made during the marriage and employer matching funds. Some of these accounts may restrict who can access them, so it’s essential to understand the rules governing these plans before making any decisions.

Non-cash compensation

Executive compensation may include non-cash benefits, such as using a company car or other perks. You may be entitled to a portion of these benefits if deemed marital property. The value of these benefits should be determined before the divorce is finalized.

Understanding the different types of executive compensation that may be affected during a divorce is essential. With this knowledge, you can ensure that you receive a fair settlement and that your rights are adequately protected.