Conclusion - Classification of Employee Bonuses
National Legal Research Group, Inc.)
Almost all of the above cases reach the same end result: Bonuses are marital property to the extent earned during the marriage, and separate property to the extent earned outside the marriage. The date of receipt is irrelevant; what matters is the time at which the services which earned the bonus were performed. To the extent that the ultimate classification of the bonuses at issue has varied from case to case, the variance results almost entirely from differences in the various bonus programs and in the timing of the marriage and the divorce. Nationwide, the black-letter law on classification of bonuses is substantially uniform.
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