California is a community property state, meaning any assets acquired during a marriage are subject to division when a couple chooses to end their relationship. The problem is that some people fail to list certain assets as shared property before negotiations being, either on purpose or because one or both parties are unaware that certain assets are community property. Failing to account for all marital assets will result in one party getting the short end of the stick in the end.
There are four specific assets that not everyone thinks about when getting a divorce. They are restricted stock units, alternate forms of currency, pension and military benefits. All of these may be community property and something you may want to look for and discuss when negotiating the terms of your divorce settlement.
Restricted stock units
These are stock units granted by an employer, generally as a bonus or deferred income, that need to vest before they have any real monetary value for the recipient. RSUs are not transferrable in divorce. To divide these assets, you may wait until they vest and then split the proceeds — even if that happens after divorce — or you may divide the property you do have access to now in a way that accounts for the RSUs.
Alternate forms of currency
If you or your spouse have invested in alternate forms of currency, such as cryptocurrency, that is an asset that may qualify as shared property. When you or your spouse purchased the currency will determine how much of it is marital versus shared property. At the very least, any gains in the value made during the marriage may qualify for distribution in divorce.
Some employers do still offer pensions plans, such as the state or federal government. If any part of a pension is earned during the marriage, all or some of the value may be a part of the property division settlement. Determining pension value can prove challenging, but it is certainly worth looking into.
California has its fair share of military service members who have pretty great benefits. The spouses of service members may keep these benefits after divorce under the right circumstances. The ability to do that depends on the number of years the service member has been in the military and the number of years the couple has been married.