When Mr. Miller started practicing law in 1981, the population of Chandler was a little over 25,000 people. Nearly all of the area was covered with alfalfa fields, cotton fields, and dairies. The lifestyle was simpler, and divorces were much simpler as well. Chandler is very different city now, with a population of over 250,000 people. Residents enjoy a much higher standard of living than the rest of the East Valley because of the high-tech companies that have taken over the city. Intel, Freescale Semiconductor, eBay, PayPal, Orbital Science, and Microchip Technology all have offices in the area. But employees of large companies and their spouses face some unique challenges when it comes to divorce issues.
Schedules & Compensation Structures
First, because of the difficult responsibilities and long work hours, it is sometimes very difficult to put together parenting time schedules that maximize the amount of time each parent spends with the children. Devising a schedule that works for the parties – and, more importantly, for the children – takes creativity and an experienced attorney who has dealt with those issues many times in the past. There are also difficult compensation issues, both current and deferred, as well as property issues that are unique to high-tech industry divorce cases. The regular compensation plans for many of these companies include incentive bonuses, stock options, stock awards, and other types of benefits paid to the employee. If you don't have someone on your side who has dealt with those issues in the past, you often get an inaccurate value of such compensation, which affects not only the amount of child support awarded but spousal maintenance claims as well.
An even more complicated issue is the division of deferred compensation plans, which are unique to each employer. Sometimes, establishing the existence and value of such plans involves requesting court assistance in obtaining the records from the actual employer. It also involves an understanding of the nature and value of such plans as well as the best and most cost-effective way to divide them. If a lawyer misses the existence of such a plan or misinterprets the nature of the plan, it can cost the non-employee spouse thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. For the earning spouse, the existence of a plan that has not been divided during the divorce may cost thousands of dollars to resolve, perhaps years afterward. This is not a good result for anyone.
A Wealth of Experience
The adage of "if you've done it 100 times, then the 101st is no mystery" makes special sense in these types of cases. Mr. Miller has represented over 100 high-tech employees or their spouses over the last 38 years. He knows the ins and outs of each company's general work schedules, and he has an intricate knowledge of the compensation plans, both current and deferred, for each of the high-tech companies above. If you choose to hire an experienced attorney, you can make sure that every issue unique to high-tech employees and their spouses is thoroughly analyzed and resolved appropriately. A thorough analysis helps you reach a fair and equitable result.