Back in September, Lucas and Joanne called it quits and decided to end their 15-year marriage. The New Jersey couple is currently separated, with plans to move forward with filing for divorce in January, once the holidays are over (waiting was Joanne’s idea because, as she explained Lucas, she didn’t need the added stress). Over the past few months, Lucas and Joanne have have had very little contact with each other, especially since each party established their own bank accounts as soon as they decided to separate. For all intents and purposes, except for the official paperwork, Joanne and Lucas are living like a divorced couple.
In late December, Lucas receives a year-end bonus at his job. Because his company had a successful year, the amount of the bonus turns out to be a considerable windfall. Before Lucas deposits the check in his personal back account, he thinks about the divorce he will be filing for in mere days, and how this money may come into play. Is this money — received after he and his wife separated — considered marital or separate property? If his wife can lay claim to it, how much will she get? Will this money mean a higher alimony payment? And what if Lucas holds off on depositing the money until after he files for divorce… would that be a loophole to keep it safe? Read more