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Can my spouse get half of my severance package?

While severance packages are not that common they do come up in divorce cases from time to time. Under Missouri law the answer to whether a spouse can get half of a severance package is based on what the severance package is meant to replace. Under a new 2014 case, Zahn v. Zahn, Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District– ED99950 & ED99951, February 18, 2014 the issue is whether severance pay was intended to compensate the employee for efforts made during the marriage or to replace post-separation earnings. If the payment was intended to substitute for lost future earnings, or earnings that would occur post-dissolution, then the payment is nonmarital property of the earning spouse.

Of course these matters are always determined on a case by case basis. If you think you may be entitled to a severance package it is important to obtain a copy of the severance package agreement and review it carefully with an attorney. The company’s intent with respect to providing you with the severance package is going to be a very important element with respect to whether your spouse is entitled to any part of it.