Custody and stock options, Could this happen in Massachusetts?

Ongoing and pernicious divorce negotiations could happen to any couple with significant assets, in Massachusetts or another jurisdiction. Stock options, real estate holdings and other investments can complicate matters. One particular divorce in another state has lasted for more than a decade. There have also been more than 600 court filings. Though not quite a record, the proceedings are certainly on the extreme end of what is at stake.

The divorce was originally filed on Aug. 13, 2003, and a divorce was granted nearly two years later. That part is over but other things which both parties feel are worth fighting for are still in court. Things like child visitation, supervised visits, stock options are involved. Moreover, complex financial issues such as who pays for what have been difficult for the parties to sort out. Further complications regarding possible Securities and Exchange Commission violations have also come into play.

Legal moves have been made by both parties. Expert opinions regarding the character or psychological makeup of a party, if left unanswered can have damaging consequences. Nevertheless, countering such legal moves, though sometimes difficult, is achievable. It is often important to distinguish between unsupported allegations and actual proof.

Most divorces, in Massachusetts or elsewhere, do not take 10 years to resolve — even with complicated child custody or financial issues like stock options or other extensive assets. When one party is fighting with everything they can possibly throw on the table, asserting one’s legal rights to reach a fair and acceptable outcome can take some time. Divorce has the potential to be simple or complicated and often depends on what is involved. The cooperation, or lack of cooperation of both parties plays a significant role in achieving a comprehensive and binding settlement.

Source: USA Today, No end in sight for 10-year-old divorce case, Dave Collins, Sept. 8, 2013

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