Divorcing a Tech Professional comes with Asset Complexities

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce can be a complex journey, especially for tech or information technology professionals in the Seattle/Bellevue area, where the vibrant tech industry shapes the landscape.

Beyond the emotional aspects, the division of certain types of assets warrant specialized considerations. For those working in startups, additional deliberation comes into play as many of those careers involve particularized assets.

Stock options and restricted stock units

Tech professionals often receive stock options and/or restricted stock units (known as RSUs) as part of their compensation packages. Stock options grant the right to purchase company shares at a predetermined price, while RSUs provide a promise of an award of shares based upon a determined vesting schedule. In divorce proceedings, these types of assets are subject to characterization and division.

Pre-initial public offering contributions

For those who contributed to a company’s growth before it went public, shareholder value becomes a tangible asset. Determining a fair distribution involves evaluating the extent of pre-initial public offering involvement and the impact on the company’s success, among other considerations.

Conventional assets

In addition to tech-specific assets, conventional assets like 401(k) retirement funds, real estate, vacation homes, investment accounts, and vehicles are often part of the equation. Dividing retirement funds requires careful evaluation of contributions made during the marriage as well as during separate periods.

Everyday possessions

Beyond the significant financial assets, everyday possessions play a role in asset distribution. Furniture, electronics and personal items may hold sentimental value, and deciding how to divide them may mean compromising.

Considering that Washington had a divorce rate of 2.9 divorces per 1,000 population in 2021, many Washington residents face divorce. While striving for fair asset distribution, tech professionals often need to take a more tailored, scrutinized approach.