It is beginning to be that time of the year where end of the year bonuses and holiday bonuses are being calculated and given by employers. Knowing whether or not your bonus is something that can be divided by the Court in a divorce in Dallas, Texas will aid you in your property settlement and plans for the immediate future.

What differentiates bonuses and whether or not the bonus is considered community property and thus divisible by the Court or your separate property and awarded solely to you is the purpose for the bonus. If you are being paid a bonus for work that you performed during the marriage, that bonus is community property and thus divisible by the Court. Even if you receive the bonus a few months into the next calendar year and/or after your divorce has been finalized, it is still community property if the bonus was for work performed during the course of the marriage.

If your bonus is conditioned only upon work in the future and your work in the future occurs after your divorce, then your bonus will be considered separate property and thus solely yours. 

Employers usually provide documentation as to the benefits they provide to their employees. If your spouse is entitled to receive a bonus, it is important to receive your spouse’s employer’s benefits information during the divorce process so that you can anticipate whether a bonus will be received as well as the purpose for the bonus.