Every year, your spouse’s job-related bonus depended on how well his employer performed financially. Some years, the two of you would spend the bonus money on a trip abroad. Other times, you purchased needed household equipment.
But there were years when your spouse either claimed that he did not receive a bonus or informed you that he placed the money into a financial account in his name only. Such moments can only lead to rising suspicions, especially when your marriage is in trouble and divorce is inevitable. You need swift answers and a clear understanding of those annual bonuses.
Bonuses are marital assets
Assets represent one of the most discussed and negotiated topics in divorce. Annual job-related bonuses received by a spouse during marriage are marital assets. These assets belong to both spouses and must be divided equally. Bonuses also are used in determining child support and alimony.
An estranged spouse’s argument that his or her work-related bonus is a non-marital asset and solely belongs to him or her is not valid. A job-related bonus remains on par with a worker’s regular paycheck received during the marriage.
In some instances, a wage-earning spouse may even attempt to hide assets – including a job-related bonus – from the other spouse. Remember that in divorce, it is not uncommon for someone to try to give the appearance of a lesser income.
Seek an aggressive attorney
Divorce can bring out the worst in people. But, sometimes, that dishonest behavior of lying to a spouse about a work-related bonus or hiding those very marital assets surfaces. A work-related bonus is a marital asset. If you find yourself at a crossroads in such situations, it is time to rely on the guidance of an aggressive divorce attorney who may enlist the help of a forensic accountant.