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Divorce financial settlement: How to deal with share options potentially worth hundreds of thousands of pounds (or 0)

(9 Posts)
freedomonthehorizon Wed 10-Oct-18 14:22:12


Namechanged as OH may know my usual username.

I am thinking of separating due to unreasonable behaviour on OH's part (EA, financially controlling etc). I think I have a fairly good picture of what to expect in terms of a financial settlement, with one notable exception: OH is starting a new job shortly and is probably going to receive share options which may or may not be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds in a few years' time. I don't know the details of the exact timeframe and conditions attached.

Does anyone know if and how these share options would be considered in the financial settlement? I don't want to rip OH off and demand a huge chunk of money that may never materialise. On the other hand, if he does receive these shares before our separation, I don't want to end up struggling financially whilst ex-OH has a potentially huge windfall to look forward to.

I think the share options are tied in with his employment, so imagine he could not just transfer half of the options to my name. But maybe I'm wrong?

I am going to seek specialist legal advice too, but in the meantime any advice/experiences would be greatly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
freedomonthehorizon Thu 11-Oct-18 08:26:37

Hopeful bump... anyone?

OP’s posts: |
Notbeingrobbed Thu 11-Oct-18 14:46:48

He hasn’t even started this new job and you are separated now. Why would you be entitled? Explain your thinking.

lexi727 Thu 11-Oct-18 15:01:14 would not be entitled to anything your DH earns after you divorce. Nor should you be!

freedomonthehorizon Thu 11-Oct-18 17:33:03

@notbeinggrobbed: As stated in my initial post I am not separated yet.
@lexi727: I am not after any regular wages OH earns after separation/divorce. Of course I would not be entitled to those. My question is about potential future income resulting from share options held before separation.

OP’s posts: |
Notbeingrobbed Thu 11-Oct-18 17:45:09

So are you just holding on until you can grab a share of his assets?

Manaskingforadvice Thu 11-Oct-18 18:57:06

Hate to say it @lexi727 but if the higher earner is on a lot the lesser earner certainly is entitled to earnings after separation. In my case my ex has just walked off with every penny I saved over a four year separation (me having allowed her to spend whatever she wanted to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds during separation too) as well as spousal maintenance for the next 8 years. Once you get a little way into 6 figures income all the rules about needs, earning potential etc go out of the window and the judge will take the view it’s no skin off his nose so why not. My ex is a doctor by the way. So fairly employable if she chose.

Notbeingrobbed Thu 11-Oct-18 21:47:25

@Manaskingforadvice this is why I will never marry again. It’s outrageous.

MissedTheBoatAgain Fri 12-Oct-18 00:59:46

if the higher earner is on a lot the lesser earner certainly is entitled to earnings after separation

Only true if they were the higher earner during the marriage. In this case OP's potential Ex has not yet moved job and even if he does it is not yet certain there will be Share Options.

Take the Vince Dale (owner of Ecotricity). When he divorced he had very little. However, he later went on to develop a successful renewable energy business and was estimated to be worth 100 Million. 19 years after the Divorce the ex wife took him to court and demanded money. Somehow it ended up in the Supreme Courts. Judge shook their heads and quickly established that Ex wife had not contributed to the business in any way so why would she be entitled to anything?

Another example closer to home. A former colleague was lucky enough to win a share of the UK lottery Jackpot of 2.7 million. He had divorced about 3 years earlier. No children involved. His ex wife after him for half the winnings and her counsel tried to argue it was a Barder Case. Judge dismissed instantly and apparently remarked that the case should never have come to the Courts as the Consent Order had already specified Clean Break and neither party had any liabilities to the other.

So how did it get to court? Was it greed by the Ex Wife or was she egged on by Legal (who if they were any good would have known it was a hopeless case) as it was easy money?

And if anyone can predict with certainty what shares will be worth in a few years time they would the richest person on the planet.

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