Is a Yearly Bonus Considered in Child Support or Alimony
A bonus is an amount of money paid to an employee over and above their regular paycheck. In most instances, a bonus occurs once a year, often at the end of the year though there are times when a bonus is paid more often. Sometimes the bonus is paid simply because the employee has completed a given amount of time with their organization, and a bonus is given to all workers, the amount depending on how long they have been employed. Other times a bonus is given as an incentive for work done or a goal reached. This second type of bonus may be given whenever it is earned and is not guaranteed unless earned. Even a yearly bonus can change in the amount and possibly be discontinued if a company is going through difficult times. All of these factors concerning a bonus make it problematic when trying to figure amounts of child support or alimony, as a bonus is considered part of the gross figure when determining final award amounts.
If a bonus is yearly and is expected to be so on a continuing basis, then the court will add the amount to the gross income of the payor in light of how much will be paid. If the payee receives a regular yearly bonus, the amount will be added to lessen the need of the payee for extra income both for minor children and for alimony. If, however, the bonus is sporadic or determined by incentives, the considering of how to claim the bonus can be difficult.
When a bonus is sporadic or needs to be attained as an incentive for achieving a goal, the court will usually rule that when the bonus is received, it will be split with the other party. The court will have what is termed a bonus child support calculator (Dissomaster), which is designed to help prepare bonus schedules or tables to determine the amount of child support increase when or if the time comes for the bonus. Determining how an inconsistent bonus will be handled regarding spousal support (alimony) is handled is on an individual basis.
If you are anticipating a divorce and will have the issue of minor children and or alimony and you receive or likely will receive an income bonus, it is most important you seek out an experienced Family Law attorney to represent you. They will have the latest rules on how bonuses will be handled in your state and jurisdiction. For those living in Florida in the counties of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, or Orange or New York or Washington DC, Family Law Attorney Grant Gisondo, B.S.C. is prepared to represent you. He has over a decade of successful practice and is Board Certified in Family Law. To answer your general questions and to learn how he can help, Attorney Gisondo offers a free, initial, in-office consultation. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and for new clients on Saturday from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. You can call his office located in Palm Beach Gardens at (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment.