When you begin the divorce process, you need to carefully consider your financial future. Florida divorce laws operate under equitable distribution, which means that assets must be divided in a fair and equal manner. This division of assets includes a spouse’s executive compensation.
Executive compensation definition
Corporations often provide enhanced salary or benefit packages to employees once they reach executive positions. Corporations refer to these packages as executive compensation.
The types of perks in an executive compensation package may include:
- An increase in base pay
- Retirement benefits
- Healthcare benefits
- Corporate vehicles
- Private travel plans
- First-class air travel
- Exclusive club memberships or dues
- Annual bonuses
- Company stocks
During a Florida divorce, one of the most important aspects to consider is whether the court considers an asset to be a “non-marital” property. These properties, also known as separate properties, cannot be included in the marital estate. Courts do not divide non-marital properties. If the executive compensation falls under one of the non-marital property categories, the court will not divide it.
The state of Florida recognizes these non-marital property categories:
- Obtained before the marriage
- Gift that was given to you during the marriage by someone other than your spouse
- Property excluded in a prenuptial agreement
- Any income from non-marital assets
Florida family law classifies any assets that are not non-marital property as marital property.
Typically, the court considers these assets to be marital property:
- Any assets gained by the spouses while they were married
- Increase in non-marital assets’ value due to the work of the couple during the marriage
- Gifts that were given by one spouse to another
- Many retirement benefits
Due to these stipulations, many executive compensation packages qualify as marital property under Florida law.
Dividing complex assets may result in prolonged legal battles. While these battles may be frustrating, they may help to ensure that you receive the division of assets that you deserve under Florida law.