Brebaugh v. Deane
Arizona Court of Appeals
118 P.3d 43 (2005)
William Brebaugh (plaintiff) and Nancy Deane (defendant) divorced after a 30-year marriage. William received stock options from Apollo Group (Apollo) in the course of his employment. On the date of commencement of the divorce, William had vested and unvested stock options. The parties conceded vested stock options were community property and stock options received after the date of commencement were William’s separate property. The trial court awarded Nancy 50 percent of the unvested stock options acquired prior to the date of commencement, finding that William had failed to prove the options were granted as an incentive for future efforts. William appealed, arguing the unvested stock options were his separate property because Apollo’s stock option agreement states the options are granted as incentives for future efforts. Apollo’s chief financial officer (CFO) testified William’s stock options were not awarded for past performance and were granted to incentivize William to remain with Apollo. Nancy presented expert testimony that the stock options were granted for past performance. William admitted that, but for the stock options, he would not have remained with Apollo at his current compensation rate.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Portley, J.)
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