Friday, August 23, 2013

Bonus for Work Performed During the Marriage not Marital if Paid After Divorce

The First District Appellate Court (Chicago) recently held that a husband's bonus to be paid for work performed during the marriage was not marital if that bonus was paid after the divorce. Generally, all property obtained from the date of the marriage to the date of the divorce is marital property subject to equitable division by the divorce court. In this case the Husband expected to receive a bonus for work performed during the marriage but because bonuses were paid in the year following the work, it would not come in until after the divorce was finalized.

Two things were argued: The Wife said since the work was performed during the marriage, it was within that general rule. However the Husband successfully argued that the bonus was speculative and may never have been paid. The court held that a the husband's bonus from his employer was not marital property but was speculative until actually awarded by the employer. It further found that the bonus was not a contractually enforceable right and was paid solely at employer's discretion.

NOTE: a decision is one appellate district may not be applicable in your district. Do not rely on this information in your own case. You should consult with a knowledgeable attorney in your county.

To read the entire case go to In re the Marriage of Wendt