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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 100971
Experience:  I am a practicing lawyer and have also been an online professional for 5 years.
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I am separated from my husband and we are working out a

Customer Question

I am separated from my husband and we are working out a separation agreement. We have been married for 30 years so we are splitting everything 50/50. I have a deferred share program at work (a private company) which is only realized when I retire or quit. I get units every year which do not vest for 10 years and every 3 years a value per unit is posted depending on how the company is doing. There is also a disclaimer that the company can change the plan at their discretion.
My question is what value can I put on these for separation purposes if I don't know what I will get if anything?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Family Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question.

Before I answer can you let me know your province please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

In Ontario the law is that all assets must be evaluated as of the date of separation. This is in fact called the valuation date.

For this reason you have to have the deferred share program valuated as of the date that you separated. It can go up in value and go down in value later on but the date that is required for the division of assets pursuant to your marital breakdown has to be the separation date.

If you cannot get a valuation amount that your spouse agrees to from your employer then you will need to hire a professional business valuator who will be able to evaluate the value of this plan for you.

Do you see what I mean?

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
let's say they are worth $12.98 a unit now if I quit, as that's the only way I would get that value today. When I actually retire or quit they could be worth much less or nothing at all as they have the disclaimer that says they can change anything any time.
Then there is the question of how many units to split. Would it be the units that have vested on the Separation Date or the number of units that were awarded by that date (that won't vest for 10 years).
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

This is why this is complicated and why you most likely need a professional valuation because they take into account these various possibilities using statistical analysis. You would share equally in the increase in value of this plan over the course of the 30 years. So if you had this program before you married you would have to have it valuated as of the dates of both marriage and separation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thought you would be able to answer my question without having to go to another profession.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

But a lawyer cannot valuate this asset. It is not possible and if any lawyer says they can get another lawyer.

Lawyers do not have any training in valuating an asset and you need a professional for that if it is to be done correctly. If you end up in court it is the only evidence a court would consider.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

Is there anything more I can do for you?