Spouse’s Bonus in Pennsylvania Divorce
Whether a spouse’s bonus is marital property subject to division in a divorce initially depends on timing. Generally, if the bonus is received during the marriage before the parties separate, the bonus is marital property, and if the bonus is received after separation, the bonus funds are non-marital.
The Pennsylvania Courts in Gordon v. Gordon and Meyer v. Meyer held that in certain circumstances, bonuses received after separation are marital property. In Gordon v. Gordon, husband’s “retirement bonus” was based largely on employment service that accrued prior to the date of separation. The Court held that although the “retirement bonus” was received post-separation, the bonus was a result of the husband’s service during the marriage, and was marital property.
Similarly, in Meyer v. Meyer, the husband received a “service retirement bonus” after the date of separation. The Court concluded that since the “retirement bonus” was the result of the husband’s 25 years of service, many of which occurred prior to separation, the bonus should be included in the marital estate to the extent that the 25 years of service occurred during the marriage and prior to separation.