We separated about 8 months ago and case is in discovery. I may get a year-end bonus and I am wondering if my spouse is entitled to receive any component of this as part of equitable distribution? Case is simple - no children, no property, no debt, no domestic violence. Case type is no-fault irreconcilable difference, contested by my spouse :(.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Your income is fair game and must be disclosed in discovery. (You may have figured out that with so much at stake, not getting a lawyer will prove to be a big mistake).
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Family Law Attorney
Your bonus income will be considered marital property. However, this does not mean your spouse is entitled to any particular portion of it. Marital property is subject to equitable division, which means the judge can award your spouse whatever portion the court deems fair. If I were your attorney, I would argue that your wife is entitled to no more than 1/8 of the bonus since you two will have been separated for 9 of the 12 months (or 3/4) of this year and she is entitled to 1/2 the bonus accrued during the other 1/4 of this year.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Short answer is your bonus is marital property and will be considerated as part of your income.
Darrell B. Reynolds, Sr.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
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