Do You Have To Disclose a Coming Bonus During a Divorce?

Pierre Domercq Divorce

Do you have to disclose a coming bonus during a divorce in Carlsbad CA?  What about issues such as quarterly sales commissions, make up commissions for exceed year-to-date targets or annual bonuses and commissions?  Does a substantial bonus or commission payment affect when I might consider filing for a divorce?

The fact is you owe your spouse a powerful legal obligation to act in their best interests known as a “fiduciary duty.”  You are required by law to make a full and accurate disclosure of all monies earned.  Therefore, if you get a bonus of any sort prior to the date of separation, half of it usually belongs to your spouse.  If you attempt to hide it or play some sort of game with your company to defer it you risk serious sanctions from the Court which usually means you forfeit the entire amount to your spouse.

You have to disclose a coming bonus during a divorce.  The nature of the disclosure will impact not only the amount of the bonus which must be shared as a community asset but the amount of annual income used to calculate child support and/or spousal support.

One of the most important aspects of any divorce is the date of separation – the date you filed for a divorce or the date you both agreed to divorce and the marriage was for all practical considerations, over.  The determination of the date of separation can be legally quite contentious.  While you have to disclose a coming bonus during a divorce you should give consideration to the facts of when it is earned and when it is to be received.  If it is earned and received after the date of separation it could remain entirely yours. Therefore if you don’t have a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement to the contrary, are intending to divorce and are expecting a substantial bonus or commission check you need to be thinking about establishing the date of separation in your case.

This is why it is so important to speak with the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.  Ask our attorneys about “Ostler & Smith Awards” and how future bonus income and/or commissions may be handled as they relate to child support and/or spousal support. Protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.