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Resolving Sensitive Matters With Compassionate Counsel
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Rochester Metro Family Law And Estate Administration Attorney
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What You Need To Know About Stock And Mutual Fund Division

When marital assets (those attained during the marriage) include stocks, retirement benefits, stock options and mutual funds in New York, these assets will be divided equitably. This does not mean necessarily a 50-50 split, though. Equitable distribution means that these assets will be divided in a way that is “most fair,” taking into consideration the particulars of the marriage.

If a divorce goes to trial, the courts have significant latitude in property division, particularly stocks and mutual funds. At Trotto Law Firm, P.C., principal attorney Jonathan Trotto has extensive experience with marital property division and is well-versed in estate planning. He will explain the steps and offer clear advice and counsel. Our team is dedicated to client-centered service and fair distribution of assets.

How Mutual Funds And Investments Are Divided

There are several considerations for mutual funds, investments, stock options and retirement benefits when it comes to asset division in a divorce. These considerations include:

  • How an option was obtained, when it expires, if it is vested or nonvested and whether it is employer-paid or employee-paid (employer-paid benefits are not typically eligible for an “alternate payee”)
  • The current market value of the stock, how much it was acquired for and how much the stock gained or lost in value
  • The tax ramifications of exercising a stock option – does it make financial sense to sell at this juncture, or can an asset of equal value be divided instead?
  • Whether a domestic relations order (DRO) is applicable for spouses who earned pensions

When warranted, financial experts are called in to ensure that an accurate value is assessed. Forensic accountants and other professionals are utilized when non-liquid assets or bank accounts are potentially hidden or misrepresented.

Pursuing Equitable Distribution

When determining what is equitable, the courts will consider many aspects of your marriage, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s income or income potential
  • What each spouse contributed to the marriage
  • The wishes of each spouse to retain or relinquish an asset
  • Any egregious or wasteful behavior on behalf of either spouse
  • Spousal support

Only property that is considered “marital property” is divided in a New York divorce. When one spouse comes into the marriage with their own or “separate property,” it is typical for that person to leave the marriage with that property. Separate property may include itemized assets indicated in a prenuptial agreement.

The Guidance You Need Is Available

At Trotto Law Firm, P.C., we understand your need to be heard, to have things explained and to be in communication during the divorce process. Since 2009, we have been helping people move forward with their divorces by offering solid advice and compassionate counsel. Call 585-643-7144 or send us an email. We offer a free initial consultation.