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What happens with bonuses and other perks when you divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2019 | Property Division |

If you’re thinking about getting divorced and you have a job where you receive a salary plus some other type of special compensation, then you may be fairly certain that you know what will happen with your standard pay once you finalize things. You may be a little less clear about what happens with your special compensation though. The truth is that it varies depending on the perks that you receive.

Spouses who receive commissions may have their earnings classified as a marital asset. Your husband or wife may only be entitled to lay claim to any commission that you’ve earned before legally separating or divorcing though. This is why you may benefit from speeding up your filing process if you’re expecting a sizable commission.

Husbands and wives who receive bonuses for their work during the previous year will likely have their bonus divided up much like any other marital asset when they divorce. You must remain vigilant when it comes time to calculate your income to see how much alimony or child support you owe though. You want to make sure that your bonus doesn’t get divided up then counted as income as this can result in you paying more in the long run that your fair share.

If you receive a prepaid bonus, then your employer may have you repay a portion of what they prematurely paid you if you don’t meet certain expectations or leave your job too soon. Your and your divorce attorney may be able to argue that such a bonus shouldn’t be divided up during property division negotiations, especially since it can be recalled at any point.

Spouses who’ve recently started a new job may have received special incentives for walking away from their previous role. Your ex-husband or wife may try to lay claim to your new position’s salary unless you come up with a strong defense for why that shouldn’t happen.

You may find it troubling to have worked so hard to negotiate for and receive different perks only to have them go to your ex who did very little to help you get them. If you’re concerned that your financial matters are going to get quite contentious, then you may want to have a property division attorney in Fort Myers step in sooner than later in your Florida divorce case so that you can tackle these complex issues early on.


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