If my husband has 6 years of backpay coming to him and we’ve been married for 2 years, am I entitled to half of the backpay if we divorce?

I have been supporting him and his children the whole time and actually have had to pay his debts, car registration, etc. back income taxes so he could qualify for the background check to return to the job. The backpay is a result of a revoked termination, so he will get a huge lump sum for this year. He has verbally promised me all of it, but I don’t want all of it. I just want half because I think that is fair.

Asked on July 5, 2012 under Family Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Community property is property acquired during marriage.  Community property also includes income during marriage.  Each spouse has a one half interest in the community property.

Separate property is property acquired before marriage or after the marriage ends.  Separate property also includes income before marriage or after the marriage ends.  A spouse has no claim to the other spouse's separate property.

Your husband's back pay which represents income before marriage is his separate property and you would not have any claim to his separate property.

Your husband's back pay which represents income during the two years of your marriage is community property and you would have a claim for one half of that income.

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