While attaining a career in Informational Technology (IT) or as a Tech professional can be something to aspire to, the focus on and the demands of your career can, in some cases, cause rifts in social relationships and can even contribute to a decision to get a divorce. While you may be experienced in everything in the tech world, you may not know precisely how to navigate a divorce proceeding and what to expect.
Let’s take a minute to get a better idea of what happens throughout the divorce process and how you can prepare.
What Tech Workers Can Expect With Divorce
Divorce cases officially start in California when filing for a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and a Summons, which are two different documents. Following the legal filing of these documents, specific processes and the early stages of divorce will begin, such as the division of community property. The division of marital property will differ on a case-to-case basis but can involve everything from real estate to stock options and restricted stock units (RSUs).
The parties can agree, or the court will determine what is considered joint and separate property. Eventually, any joint marital property will be divided pursuant to an agreement or a court order.
For some tech professionals who got into their companies early, this can mean that things like stock options, RSUs, or even shareholder value for pre-IPO work can be on the table.
Unfortunately, these proceedings can become incredibly complicated in some cases. For example, say a non-employee spouse is awarded a community interest in unvested RSUs or pre-IPO shares for the company that the employee spouse works for. The employee spouse then leaves and finds a job at a different organization. How do the attorneys and the parties value vested non-public shares or RSUs in a divorce proceeding?
As with many issues in family law, the answer depends on a variety of factors, including the reason for the award of options or RSUs, the time worked at the company, the vesting, schedule(s), and potentially the value created by the employee spouse. While there are many things to consider in any divorce, those dealing with a divorce in the tech industry will likely have more complex considerations.
It is important to note that the divorce process will take several months to be finalized and is a big-time commitment throughout the proceeding. Although, for many tech professionals, this can take them away from the long hours of their jobs for too long, luckily, there are divorce lawyers who can help them through the process.
Get Help at Hart Ginney
If you are a tech professional looking for divorce lawyers to help walk you through this process, our team at Hart Ginney, LLP can help! From C Suite executives to UI programmers, our team is here to help you understand your situation and give you the best legal counsel moving forward to protect your assets.
Give us a call today or fill out our contact form to speak with a family law attorney.