How one is compensated can have impact on property division

In today’s employment market, there are many forms of compensation. While this is not an issue most of the time, during a divorce, different forms of compensation can affect the property division negotiations. Florida residents who are preparing to file for a dissolution may benefit from reviewing all of their assets. 

For those who earn a straight salary, the division of marital assets will likely be fairly simple. Those whose pay includes non-traditional forms of compensation may need to time their divorce filing carefully, or ensure that the terms for dividing assets will not lead to some assets being over-valued. Some payments that may need careful consideration are bonuses that include a “claw-back” provision. These are bonuses paid upon employment but which could be subject to repayment if one loses employment due to under-performance or other employee-performance reasons. When these bonuses are counted as marital assets, there may need to be provisions that will ensure a spouse will also have to re-pay his or her portion of these monies.

Two other payments that can affect property division are year-end bonuses and commissions. If a year-end bonus is included in marital assets, it is important that this compensation is not double-counted when it comes to calculating support payments. If commissions are part of one’s pay, then it may be important to stipulate whether these payments were received before or after a divorce filing. If after, it may be argued that they are separate assets. Other forms of payment that may have a bearing on negotiations are stock options, new job bonuses and other perks that may be counted as marital assets.

If one is in a position to determine his or her own salary, it is important that salary meets the going market rates. During a divorce, the property division negotiations may significantly impact future financial stability. In order to arrive at the best settlement, Florida residents may wish to consult with an experienced family law attorney.