Divorce in the Tech Industry
Technology has evolved exponentially over the past few decades and will continue to progress in the future. In addition to allowing a person access to information in seconds and the ability to stay connected with people all over the world, the ever-expanding tech industry has provided countless jobs. While many of the benefits of technological advances are clear, when a person employed in the tech industry decides to divorce, there may be some uncertainty as to how to value and divide assets. If you are contemplating a divorce and work in the tech industry, it is prudent to consult legal counsel with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate the novel issues that may arise in your case. At the McClure Law Group, our Dallas divorce lawyers will work diligently to help you pursue a fair appraisal and distribution of any assets acquired by you or your spouse.What Constitutes Community Property
Under Texas law, any property that is acquired by either spouse during a marriage is assumed to be community property, unless one person can show that it is separate property. Property that is community property belongs to both spouses and may be subject to equitable distribution. Any contractual agreement a married couple entered into before or during their marriage, commonly referred to as a pre-marital or post-marital agreement, may characterize property acquired throughout the duration of the marriage, and will be considered in determining how any assets or property should be disbursed upon dissolution of the marriage.Assessing the Value of Business and Stock in Tech Industry Divorces
In many cases, a married couple will invest in a startup together, and share a percentage of the business. If that couple decides to divorce, it is essential to determine the value of their share in the business and determine an appropriate method through which the value of the share should be divided.
The method in which a party who works in the tech industry is compensated can present challenges in determining the nature of any property as well. Many people who work for startup companies in the tech industry are given either restricted stock units or stock options as part of their compensation. If any stock options were earned during the marriage, they would be presumed to be community property. The value of the stock options can greatly increase if and when a company goes public, however. Thus, if a party has stock options in a company that has yet to go public it can be difficult to determine the true value of the options.
Similarly, with restricted stock units, an employee receives stock after he or she achieves certain milestones. Determining whether restricted stock options are community or separate property can be complicated, as it involves assessing when the option was given and when it vested. If you or your spouse work in the tech industry, it is in your best interest to meet with a skilled divorce attorney to discuss how your property may be divided.Dealing with Cryptocurrency in a Divorce in the Tech Industry
Cryptocurrency, which is digital currency that allows parties to transfer virtual funds without the use of a bank, is a relatively new development in the tech world. Cryptocurrency is becoming a more prevalent form of payment in the tech industry. While most cryptocurrency transactions are meticulously recorded, obtaining records regarding those transactions can be difficult. Discovery is an essential tool in obtaining information regarding financial activity, including cryptocurrency transactions. Any requests for documentation of cryptocurrency must be carefully crafted, as these transactions would not show up on a typical bank statement.
Assessing the actual value of cryptocurrency can be challenging as well. Cryptocurrency is not backed by hard assets, and the value of it is known to fluctuate wildly. As a result, it is important to determine the most beneficial date and method of valuation prior to any distribution.Consult a Seasoned Divorce Lawyer in Dallas
There are many emotional and economic facets that must be considered when any couple decides to divorce. Divorce in the tech industry can present additional challenges due to uncharted legal issues and uncertainty as to how property should be evaluated and divided. The attorneys of the McClure Law group are proficient in handling complicated Dallas divorce cases, and will vigorously pursue a favorable settlement agreement on your behalf. Our lawyers are available by appointment at our Collin County office in Plano, and we assist parties in family law matters in Dallas, Garland, Fort Worth, Richardson, Irving, Frisco, McKinney, and Rockwall. We also represent people in other cities in Dallas, Grayson, Collin, Tarrant, Denton, and Rockwall Counties. You can reach us at 214.692.8200 or via our online form to schedule a meeting.