One of the most valuable assets in a dissolution case today is an employee stock option (ESO). An ESO is a contractual right granted to an employee to purchase the stock of her corporate employer during a designated period of time at a predetermined price. The law, however, has failed to keep up with this modern form of employee compensation and indeed has struggled to understand this new form of property in the context of dividing and distributing marital property. Only fourteen state supreme courts to date have spoken on any aspect of this complex issue, and of these, only a handful have analyzed the relevant issues in any meaningful way. This article thus delineates the emerging lines of reasoning in an attempt to direct the legal analysis as consideration of the ESO in dissolution percolates through the courts.
Family Law Quarterly
Tracy A. Thomas, The New Marital Property of Employee Stock Options, 35 Family Law Quarterly 497 (2001).