Aharonov & Revy Family Law, LLP Aharonov & Revy Family Law, LLP

Gross or net income, unpaid earnings and divorce in California

Couples across California get married and divorced almost every day. In both instances, each individual usually has a fairly good idea of their basic assets. They both know the amenities associated with the home they live in; the approximate value of other similar properties in the general area is fairly easy to access. Additionally, the value of joint checking and savings accounts should be easy to determine. This can be important in determining the value of assets in a divorce.

Where a divorcing spouse can run into difficulties is with the actual value of one's income. At times, one spouse is not completely honest about the value of his or her income. He or she may have only stated the amount of take-home pay. However, the amount that this spouse chooses to contribute to the company's retirement plan, stock plan, and other benefits before the paycheck is issued does not appear in this take-home pay dollar amount. One will want to be certain that the gross earnings amount is the amount that is being taken into consideration.

Another area which many fail to analyze is the value of money or benefits earned but not yet received at the time of the divorce. Some employees are entitled to bonuses or stock options at the end of the company's fiscal year. While these benefits can only be worth a small amount, for some, they can be of considerable value. Again, one will want to ask questions and be aware of the value of these assets that were earned while the couple was married but not paid until after the divorce is finalized.

When a California couple decides to divorce, there are many financial items that need to be considered. The value of one's gross income and unpaid earnings are just two of these items. A discussion with an experienced attorney and perhaps a financial advisor can prove beneficial in uncovering potential assets.

Source: thefiscaltimes.com, "6 Money Mistakes to Avoid When You're Getting a Divorce", Kelli B. Grant, Aug. 26, 2016

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