Is Severance Pay Divisible During Divorce?

severance payQuestion:

I recently received a severance package from my employer after working for the company for 30 years. Does my former wife have any claim to my severance?


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and cannot give you legal advice, I can give some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I practice in Pennsylvania, severance packages are usually looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Cordell & Cordell Pennsylvania divorce attorney William Phelan, IV
Cordell & Cordell Pennsylvania divorce attorney William Phelan, IV

When treating a severance package as property (as opposed to a source of income for purposes of support and/or alimony), the court will typically analyze the terms of the severance package to see, for example, if the package was provided for compensation of efforts made during the marriage (thus possibly classifying it as marital property) or to replace earnings that the recipient was expecting after the separation of the spouses (thus possibly classifying it as sole property of the recipient).

Due to the extremely fact-specific nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction, such as Cordell & Cordell, to see how Wisconsin’s laws can help you with this serious situation.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in Wisconsin and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer William J. Phelan, IV, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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Shawn Garrison is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell & Cordell UK. He has written countless pieces dealing with the unique child custody and divorce issues that men and fathers face. Through his work on,, and, Mr. Garrison has become an authority on the complexities of the legal experience and was a content creator for the YouTube series “Dad’s Divorce Live” and additional videos on both the Dad’s Divorce and Cordell & Cordell YouTube channels. Mr. Garrison has managed the sites of these customers, and fostered the creation of several of their features, including the Cordell & Cordell attorney and office pages, the Dad’s Divorce Newsletter, and the Cordell & Cordell newsletter.

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