Page 3 of 3

Re: Annual Bonuses

Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:16 pm
by lionel2013
hoosier_dad wrote:The choice of ratio vs. average is entirely up to the judge, and from my own experience and attorney feedback the ratio was a no go. Could be my specific county and judge, but in looking at Indiana case law it appears averaging the income over several years is by far the norm.


I understand. And the wording in the statute starts with "one way [...] which obviously implies other ways are acceptable. My point was, and remains, that unless he is OK with averages, if he does not even ask for a percentage it's highly likely he won't get it.

Re: Annual Bonuses

Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:02 pm
by hoosier_dad
OP, when you run the numbers using both methods what kind of difference does it make in your monthly payments?

Re: Annual Bonuses

Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:47 pm
by quantum
CA uses bonus table. It may be worthwhile to see the table to get an idea of how much would be a reasonable amount to pay.

Re: Annual Bonuses

Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:10 am
by LovingDadof2
Snowblower wrote:Kids will be 50/50, state is IN.
quantum wrote:CA uses bonus table. It may be worthwhile to see the table to get an idea of how much would be a reasonable amount to pay.
OP's State is IN.

Re: Annual Bonuses

Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:20 am
by Snowblower
hoosier_dad wrote:OP, when you run the numbers using both methods what kind of difference does it make in your monthly payments?


Did some math based on history and assumed bonuses.
Based on 3 year average I would have to pay an increased ~650 annually on what I assume my next bonus would be or 6000 based on my 2016 bonus.
Based on the ratio I would have to pay 1100 more in CS per year.

So not that big of a difference based on a bad bonus. However, with a good one I could lose a lot or if she knew I received a good bonus could go back to the court to try to get more. What is the rule, it has to be a 20% change I heard? It is complicated for me right now because SS is still in the mix so I do not want an inflated income. As of yesterday I am on the hook for 232CS and 190SS per week until May.

Re: Annual Bonuses

Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:48 pm
by TeflonDad
Snowblower wrote:So not that big of a difference based on a bad bonus. However, with a good one I could lose a lot or if she knew I received a good bonus could go back to the court to try to get more.

No she wouldn't, and you wouldn't "lose" anything you don't already know about. 15% is 15%, good, bad, or the same.

CS is locked in until your kids turn 18. That's a long time to be really sure you're going to keep getting those bonuses at the same "average" level you were now.

What part of "separate bonus payments factored by a percentage in the same ratio as your CS payment to NET income" are you not understanding?

You pay with a check directly to your ex, with a copy of your pay stub showing everything, and write "satisfaction of bonus support payment YYYY" in the memo.

The wording of how to calculate the amount should be spelled out (proposed by you/your attorney) so that the math can be verified with your pay stub.

Hint: Judges don't like to do work. Averaging is the least possible amount of work for them, and the 3-year review is just a reason to generate more business for the family courts. It's up to you to make the judge's job easy in your proposal. If it's fair, reasonable, and the judge has no real reason to object to it (i.e. conforms with IN law), then why would the judge create a possible appeal by making something up that wasn't proposed an conforming? They wouldn't. Because if they do, they have to explain in the ruling why they had to reject your proposal - as in what way, legally, it was improper or insufficient, and required something else for the judge to make up. And that creates the point of appeal. And all Judges hate appeals. Overturned or even remanded on appeal means the judge screwed up, and that's a career black mark for them.

Re: Annual Bonuses

Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:35 pm
by Snowblower
TeflonDad wrote:No she wouldn't, and you wouldn't "lose" anything you don't already know about. 15% is 15%, good, bad, or the same.

What part of "separate bonus payments factored by a percentage in the same ratio as your CS payment to NET income" are you not understanding?

You pay with a check directly to your ex, with a copy of your pay stub showing everything, and write "satisfaction of bonus support payment YYYY" in the memo.

The wording of how to calculate the amount should be spelled out (proposed by you/your attorney) so that the math can be verified with your pay stub.

Hint: Judges don't like to do work. Averaging is the least possible amount of work for them, and the 3-year review is just a reason to generate more business for the family courts. It's up to you to make the judge's job easy in your proposal. If it's fair, reasonable, and the judge has no real reason to object to it (i.e. conforms with IN law), then why would the judge create a possible appeal by making something up that wasn't proposed an conforming? They wouldn't. Because if they do, they have to explain in the ruling why they had to reject your proposal - as in what way, legally, it was improper or insufficient, and required something else for the judge to make up. And that creates the point of appeal. And all Judges hate appeals. Overturned or even remanded on appeal means the judge screwed up, and that's a career black mark for them.


No misunderstanding. Calculation is the way to go and spell it out clearly so that there cannot be any possibility of conflict involving calculations. What OC did was calculate income on TO with bonus and then stated additionally wants portion of bonuses annually. Not going to let that happen.

Bad choice of word on my part to say "lose" as everything in regards to income is retroactive I assume. I was implying more on the source of conflict and who it would favor with averaging. In other words if we did the average and there was a significant change I would prefer to not be the one that has to initiate a revision to get something back. This is what I needed, thanks.

Re: Annual Bonuses

Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:01 pm
by lionel2013
In other words if we did the average and there was a significant change I would prefer to not be the one that has to initiate a revision to get something back. This is what I needed, thanks.


Finally ... You nailed it on the head.

Re: Annual Bonuses

Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:06 pm
by TJinCA
A data point that I saw in an actual judgment recently (Orange County, CA). There was speculation as to whether the SS payer might or might not receive bonuses of some unknown amounts in the future. The judge considered the bonus money relevant to spousal support but didn't want to assign any distribution to a speculative bonus or amount.

The judge ordered that if the guy received a bonus, he was to deposit it into a segregated account and not spend any of it until the distribution was determined. Judge encouraged the parties to negotiate a distribution if/when the bonus was received, and if they couldn't negotiate a solution then either of them could file a Request for Order and the judge would decide how it would be distributed.

This seemed like a fairly elegant solution to me.

Re: Annual Bonuses

Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:42 pm
by lionel2013
Judge encouraged the parties to negotiate a distribution if/when the bonus was received, and if they couldn't negotiate a solution then either of them could file a Request for Order and the judge would decide how it would be distributed.


"Negotiate a distribution" between two divorced spouses, contentiously, and if they can't bring it back to court and let the judge decide.

"Elegant solution"? No ... no ... no ... just another recipe for conflict and more money and time spent going to the court. Don't think so.