In re Marriage of Robinson
In In re Marriage of Robinson, 201 Ariz. 328, 35 P.3d 89 (App. 2001), the trial court ordered a father to pay additional child support if and when he exercised stock options that were provided as part of his employment compensation. Id. at 331, P3, 35 P.3d at 92.
The Court disapproved that method of valuing the options, reasoning that failing to value vested, matured stock options "independently of and without regard to the employee parent's decision to actually exercise them" would subject the amount of child support "to the investment decisions or whims of the employee parent." Id. at 333, P12, 35 P.3d at 94.
In Robinson, the court squarely held that "vested employee stock options constitute income for purposes of calculating child support under the . . . Guidelines." Id. at 330, P1, 35 P.3d at 91.
The court reasoned that stock options are "'increasingly popular as part of the corporate executive's total compensation package'" and as "a widely used form of compensation" qualify as income. Id. at 332, P9, 35 P.3d at 93.