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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Employment / Employee Benefits

Term Definition Employment / Employee Benefits - fringe benefits provided to an employee.
Application in Divorce The benefits "package," as it is often called, includes everything beyond salary and wages that an employee receives as a result of his or her employment. In some cases, depending on the station of the employee, these benefits are quite generous. They include medical and dental insurance, life and disability insurance, vacation and sick pay as well as company defined benefit and/or contribution health plans, stock purchase options as well as "in kind" benefits such as housing allowances, cars, entertainment expenses, and even frequent flier miles.

In divorce actions, what is salient is that these benefits have value, and they may be marital property and subject to distribution.

Understanding the scope and limits of these benefits is very important. For example, a divorcing couple must make certain that their dependent children have medical insurance, which is provided by a spouse’s employment.

In divorce actions, a spouse working in a career-track job (often the man) is much more likely to have a better benefit package than the spouse working part time (often the woman). In this case, therefore, she would be well advised to make certain she completely understands her husband’s employment benefits. The human resources department of the employer can provide complete employment benefits information.

See In Kind Benefits.

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