I receive an annual bonus. My wife and I were separated for all of 2012 but now that our divorce is close to being finalized she is demanding part of that bonus even though she moved out of the house shortly after she filed and I started my job.
I do not think it is fair for her to receive any money from the bonus I received for work performed during the year that we were separated.
What are my options in this situation?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Texas divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
I understand that you feel that it is not fair for your wife to receive any bonus monies since she is the one who filed for divorce and moved out of the home after you began your employment.
Unfortunately, where I practice, the divorce laws create a presumption that any property possessed by either spouse during or upon the dissolution of marriage is considered community property.
Therefore, although you have been separated for the year you earned the bonus, all monies including salary and any bonus earned is considered community property and will most likely be included in any marital distribution of assets unless the manner it is acquired makes it separate property.
Also, where I practice, my state does not recognize legal separation as a marital status, spouses who are separated but not legally divorced continue to be treated as married during the period of separation.
Thus, any property acquired during separation will be characterized as community property unless proven to be separate property.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.