You Can’t Put Off Figuring Out Deferred Compensation

If divorces were easy, then a lot of attorneys would be out of business. The “add it up and divide by two” split seldom happens in real life. One situation that gives family law attorneys headaches is trying to figure out how to list deferred compensation on the New Jersey CIS.

Deferred compensation is a benefit given to an employee such as company stock. What makes it deferred is the employee doesn’t get the full value of the asset up front, but rather over a period of years. For example an employee might get 20% of the value of the stock option per year for five years. When the attorney goes to list this in the Case Information Statement software, how should it be listed?

If the asset is fully vested, meaning the employee could cash it in for its full value, then it’s simply an asset. Typically that means it’s divided equitably between the spouses like any other asset that can be assigned a simple monetary value. The compensation often can’t be transferred to the other spouse so the earning spouse might “buy” that asset with another asset, or set up a trust to handle the bookkeeping.

What if it is partially vested? Do you split it all or only the vested portion? Probably neither since the other spouse shouldn’t be entitled to either none or all of the non-vested portion. Attorneys will use an equation to determine what is fair for each spouse, but each attorney is likely to come up with a different number.

Here’s another problem: if you list the compensation as an asset then you can’t also consider it as income when calculating child support, even though it’s listed on the earning spouse’s W-2. Maybe it would be better to treat it as income.

This is a perfect example of why today’s attorneys need fully-featured New Jersey family law software, such as Easy Soft’s CIS, that allows them to create multiple asset/income scenarios and evaluate them under that state’s divorce laws.

What if you come to the bargaining table with a set of offers but the opposing attorney has different ideas? If you are using the cloud version of the NJ matrimonial software you can evaluate the offer right there and even come up with a counteroffer within minutes. This gives a speedy resolution that is in the best interest of all parties.

To best represent your client’s interests you need to use dedicated legal software for attorneys that is designed to meet not only the needs of your area of practice but the laws of your state, and CIS does just that. Download a demo and discover how easy we make New Jersey divorce settlement.

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