In the District of Columbia the material assets would be distributed and apportioned in a manner that is:

  • Equitable,
  • Just, and
  • Reasonable

The issue of division of property during marital dissolution is one of the most conflicting and complex areas in a divorce process as oftentimes the opposing parties disagree on what constitutes as sole and separate versus marital property.

In the District of Columbia, the division of marital property is at the sole discretion of the Judge.

The court considers all material assets including but not limited to:

  1. Business interests
  2. Investments, including foreign
  3. Stock options
  4. Nigh net-worth estates
  5. Antiques
  6. Retirements accounts
  7. Military retirement plans
  8. Business owned property
  9. Art
  10. Patents

How property value is assessed?

In cases where the value of the property is not easily ascertainable, industry specialists are engaged to assess the value of the property.

Stock Options

The division of stock options is more complex.

A stock option is the right to buy a designated stock, if the holder of the option chooses, at any time within a specified period, at a determinable price, or to sell a designated stock within an agreed period at a determinable price.

For the divorce settlement purposes, it is important to consider the following factors for the proposed of valuation of stock options as a marital property:

  1. Timeline when the options are awarded, specifically, before the marriage, during the marriage but before separation, after separation, or after divorce;
  2. When the options are vested to the employee, specifically, during the marriage, after separation, or after divorce;
  3. When the options are exercised, specifically, during the marriage, after separation, or after divorce;
  4. Whether the options vested are governed by any contract;
  5. If the employee is geared the options as an award for his/her past or future services.

For more information regarding DC Divorce and distribution of marital property refer to our: Washington DC Divorce Lawyer page.

Categories: Family Law.