Going through job loss can be an incredibly stressful time in an individual's job losses and the resulting economic pressures can sometimes result in a divorce. If you are facing divorce and have been recently laid off and received severance pay from your former employer, you need to be concerned about whether severance pay is considered a community asset subject to marital division upon your divorce. For over 40 years, the Law Office of Steven M. Bishop has been assisting San Diego area residents navigate the complex legal system and divorce laws.
The State of California is a "community property" state, which generally means that all property acquired during the marriage is owned jointly by both parties. The determination of whether severance pay is a community asset will depend on the timing of the severance as well as other factors. In order to best protect the severance payment you received (or will receive), you should consult with an experienced Certified Family Law Specialist.
Family Courts in California will generally look at when the severance pay benefit was accrued. Was it connected to employment during the term of your marriage (prior to any legal separation)? Alternatively, could it be argued the severance pay is actually a form of future compensation which has no affiliation with the marriage at all? Severance does not have to be all or nothing. A portion of your severance may be subject to community asset/property laws, while the remainder may be determined to be your individually-owned property. Martial laws and property divisions are complex and very fact-specific. The best way to protect your severance pay is to consult with an attorney before you make any agreements with your former spouse or make any assumptions about your severance.
If you have received severance pay and are facing divorce or have begun the divorce process, call the Law Office of Steven M. Bishoptoday to speak to our experienced family law professionals. We will work hard to help you retain the assets to which you are entitled, including any severance pay you received from your former employer. We have over 40 years of experience handling complex family law matters and our firm's reputation has been built on the aggressive and honest representation of our San Diego area clients.