Do I have any claims to my husbands military bonus? 22 Answers as of September 01, 2011

My husband is in the military getting ready to retire. He received a bonus to be retired on time, approximately $20,000. He told me he has received it but he is not telling me where it is. We are getting ready to go through a divorce. Do I have any claims to this money? If he has spent/hid it? We have been married 5 years.

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Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
I am going to go out on a limb and guess that he has been in the military for much longer than you have been married. If so, I would be surprised if you had anything more than a nominal claim of a share of it.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/11/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
The Court will make a fair and equitable division of all property. It will look at both community and separate property when making a division.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
it should be considered part of the marital estate. If you have already filed for divorce he is under Automatic Orders not to dispose of it. .
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/3/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
Any retirement credits earned between the date of marriage and date of separation are community property, which should be divided equally upon divorce. You need to figure out whether the $20,000 bonus was earned during marriage. If so, then you have a community interest in such funds. I suggest calling a local family law lawyer to assist with the analysis of this asset. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/3/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
In general, any money on hand at the time a divorce is completed is presumed to be marital property and, therefore, subject to equitable distribution. If it doesn't exist when the divorce is filed, there is nothing to potentially divide. If it exists when the divorce is filed, but then disappears a judge may explore the question of whether it disappeared for legitimate living expenses or some malicious purpose and, if it finds improper disposal a suitable remedy may be provided. At least until a divorce case is filed, however, each spouse's earnings and employment compensation is his/her property to do with as he/she pleases. You belief that your husband has received a "bonus to retire" appears, at best, to be a misunderstanding of the facts. There are no current military programs that give a $20,000 bonus to retire. The only program that could be possibly involved is the Career Status Bonus that can be elected at the 15th year of active duty, but that bonus requires a commitment to stay on active duty for at least another 5 years to qualify for a reduced retirement plan- it is not paid to encourage retirement. If/when you file for divorce, the procedural rules will require your husband to disclose all relevant financial information about his employment and retirement. With the help of a competent attorney, that required disclosure information should help you have a better understanding of the situation and what potential marital property claims you may have.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/3/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Yes
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/3/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law community property will generally be divided between the spouses in a divorce. If he received the bonus during the marriage, then it should be treated as community property. If the money is gone, then you will need to look into where it went. In some cases a spouse that wasted community funds without benefiting the community may be required to reimburse the community.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/3/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    You might have a claim to it. If the money has actually been paid to your spouse, then, it may be an asset subject to division by the court just like any other assets. However, there are a number of issues that may affect the results. First, there is the issue of whether the money is community property, separate property, or a mixture. Second, there are some special rules that apply to military pensions. From the information you provide, it is impossible to tell exactly how this might come out.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/3/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    Generally speaking, any income acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and is subject to be split up in a divorce. You probably need to speak with an attorney who can get paperwork filed quickly to protect your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/3/2011
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
    All property acquired during a marriage are subject to equitable distribution with a few exceptions (gifts and property acquired by will, as well as returns on investments made prior to the marriage). In the case of your husband's military bonus, this amount will be included in determining the size of the marital estate. While he may keep the full $20,000, half of the value will have to be paid to you from other assets. You should contact an experienced matrimonial attorney to assist you in your divorce and to ensure that you will receive the full amount due you in the process.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Your objective should be to freeze the account before he can spend it. Please see a local domestic relations attorney TODAY.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    Unfortunately,, if this bonus is a part of retirement, you do not have a claim to it as you have not been married ten years.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Any proceeds received during te marriage would be considered a marital asset and divided in divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that you retain a Georgia divorce lawyer as soon as possible concerning all your rights and options, including a right to an equitable property division. Your attorney will be able to help you obtain financial information from the spouse through discovery in the divorce process. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    You may or may not. It was paid while you were married which seems to make it a marital asset. It depends on what the military says the bonus is for. If it is for years of service, you may only be entitled to the marital percentage (time you were married versus the time he was in the military). If it is truly for your husband retiring, you may be entitled to half. I suggest you consult a local Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    If your husband received a bonus based on work done in the past or as part of his retirement, you would only be entitled to 1/2 of the community share. If he was in the military for 20 years, and the bonus was based on that, and you were married for 5 years, then you would be entitled to 1/2 of 1/4 of the bonus. If the bonus was based on work performed in the marriage, then you would be entitled to 1/2 of the money if it was received prior to the date of separation. If he received the bonus after the date of separation as a true bonus, not based on past work, you would not be entitled to it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    As general rule in Georgia, any asset accumulated during the course of the marriage as a result of marital efforts is subject to equitable distribution, regardless of whose name the asset is listed. This includes real estate, retirement accounts, bank accounts, investment accounts, automobiles, etc. In the case of a retirement, if part of the retirement benefit was earned outside of the marriage, then that portion would be considered his separate property.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Short answer: Yes. All property accrued during marriage belongs to the parties equally - including that bonus, and the portion of retirement benefits accrued during the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Get a lawyer immediately. As in yesterday. You may have claims directly or indirectly, either as a property settlement or as alimony.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Owings Law Firm
    Owings Law Firm | Tammy B. Gattis
    yes
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/2/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    You are likely entitled to of the increase in the military pension during your five year marriage. These are complicated legal matters and you need to meet with an experienced family law attorney on this to protect your legal rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/2/2011
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