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December 2014 Archives

College Support (Post Secondary Education Support) - One Example

The Court Order Regarding Post Secondary Education Support (PSES)

The child and each parent are normally held to be responsible for 1/3 of the cost of the child's college costs, including tuition, room & board, Books and Supplies, & transportation. The combined share of the parents would therefore be 2/3 of this amount. The child's 1/3 will normally be paid from part time work, student loans, grants and scholarships. Any excess from the child's share would normally be equally & proportionately attributed to the parents' obligation. The Court normally limits the parent's 2/3 share at 2/3 of the cost of attending the University of Washington (this is a common provision). The UW cost therefore acts as a "cap" or upper limit to the parents' obligation. The parents then are usually ordered to divide this share proportionate to their net incomes.

Microsoft Stock Awards - Division in a Divorce

1. The Short Case is Cited As Authority For a Share of Only the First Stock Award.

In re Marriage of Short, 125 Wn.2d 865 (1995), is always cited as authority by the attorney of the Microsoft employee in a divorce as restricting the spouse's share to one half of the first stock award after the decree of divorce. The Short case involved a dissolution of marriage of Patricia and Robert Short. Robert worked for Microsoft. A significant asset to be divided was Robert's right to exercise future options for Microsoft stock. The trial court found that only the option immediately after the divorce was community property and divided 50/50. Future stock options were for future services, and were therefore Robert's separate property. The evidence at trial included (a) the front-loading of stock options; (b) Robert's abandonment of a competing business; (c) the terms of the actual stock option plan; and (d) the tailor-made contract for Robert. The Washington State Supreme Court in Short affirmed the trial court's decision.