High Asset Divorce: Delayed Compensation
It’s common for a person with significant income to receive large payouts that are triggered conditionally at some unknown time in the future and it can be difficult to assign a value to that future payout at the time of divorce.
Many individuals with high income or wealth structure the receipt of their financial distributions to coincide with retirement so it may perform as a type of income during retirement. For example, an executive with a large corporation may receive stock options, golden parachutes and early retirement incentives. An individual may have an investment fund that delivers certain windfalls after reaching a certain age.
All of these income possibilities have two characteristics in common: they occur at some generally uncertain point in the future, and they are contingent upon the happening of some event. At the time of a divorce, placing a value on these forms of delayed compensation – in fact, simply identifying they exist – can be extremely challenging. Financial experts are often brought in to be certain that these assets are properly valued, because failure to identify and value these assets at the time of divorce can result in a highly imbalanced distribution of property that can be difficult if not impossible to correct at that time in the future when it is discovered.