Are stock options that were granted 6 years before the marriage considered separate property in CA?

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Are stock options that were granted 6 years before the marriage considered separate property in CA?

I was granted a bunch of options in 2001 that vested over the next 8 years. I was married in 2006. I am now going thru a divorce. 2 years of vesting occurred during my marriage, but i did not exercise ANY options while married.Are they still considered separate property? They were earned well before I ever met my wife.I did receive another grant in 2008 that vested over 4 years, but the 1st vesting year happened 7 days after she filed for divorce, will she be able to claim any of those?

Asked on May 30, 2009 under Family Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This gets into technical details of marital property in California, where I'm not licensed.  There are differences in these details, and they can be important.  So you need to have the paperwork in order, and let a qualified attorney in your area review it, to give you a reliable opinion on what will happen with your stock options.  One place to find a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com

I'm also working without any other facts of the case, and that might also have something to do with the answer.  But I'd say with reasonable certainty that the options that vested before marriage should be separate property.


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