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How do Bonuses and Benefits Impact a Florida Divorce?


Going through a divorce requires that the parties involved confront a number of financial issues, including property division and alimony. For those whose income is tied to something besides base pay, such as bonuses and commissions, contending with these matters can prove especially challenging, so if you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage and you have questions about how your assets will be divided upon divorce, it is important to contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale property division lawyer who can advise you.

Employment Contract Clawback Provisions

What happens to a person’s bonuses and other benefits during a divorce depends on a number of factors, including the timing of the divorce and the conditions of the financial settlement. For instance, many employees have clawback provisions in their contracts, which state that if an employee leaves within a specified period of time, he or she will be required to return part of any bonuses that were issued upon hiring. When a couple divorces while these clawback provisions are still in place, they should be sure to address that issue in their divorce agreement. In some cases, a spouse who benefited from the funds initially could also be required to help repay some of the funds to the other party’s employer.

Current and Pending Bonuses

Employees who collect bonuses before filing for divorce, will most likely be required to share that bonus with their spouse, as it will probably qualify as a joint asset. This may not be the case for a bonus that has not yet been issued, but is only pending, making it especially important for those who find themselves in this situation, to speak with an attorney about the possibility of retaining the entirety of a pending bonus.

Current and Pending Commissions

Many employees work on commission and in the event of divorce, will also need to contend with these payments during the property division process. If, for example, one spouse performed the majority of the work for a commission-related assignment before filing for divorce, the commission for that work would most likely be considered marital property. This is because the funds in these cases were earned during the marriage, even if they weren’t paid out immediately.

Employee Perks

Employees who obtain perks as a part of their employment, including the use of a company vehicle, stipends, housing and childcare discounts, and gym memberships, could also be required to account for those benefits when calculating income. If it is determined that the benefits were used to support the way that the employee’s family lives, their value could be taken into account when dividing other assets.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorney

The financial aspects of dissolving a marriage are generally more difficult for those with complex pay structures, so if your income is tied to something other than base pay, please contact  experienced property division lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 to learn more about how we can help.


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