I Just Received My Christmas Bonus. Do I Have To Split It?

It’s that time of year when the holiday cheer is in full swing and your employer is feeling happy (and generous). Your performance was great and the company excelled. You received a whopping bonus of $20,000.00. Now what?

Assets vs. Income

In family law, we treat assets and income differently. The assets you acquire after separation are not subject to property division. In other words, if you are separated, that bonus you just received is yours to keep and you will not need to hand over half of it to your spouse. However, it is not entirely exempt from division. Even though you do not pay your spouse half as a part of property division, bonuses are a source of income. In other words, your income just increased by $20,000.00 for the year.

How Your Bonus Impacts Child Support

If you are paying child support, your bonus will be included in your income. You now need to determine the amount of child support that you will owe for your children based on your total income, including bonus. If you are receiving spousal support and just got a bonus of $20,000.00, then this too is considered part of your income and may impact how much spousal support you are entitled to receive from your ex, if any.

To find out more about how your Christmas Bonus may increase or decrease the child support and spousal support you may need to pay or receive, speak to your lawyer so you can prepare accordingly.