65 Madison Ave · Suite 420 · Morristown, NJ · 07960

¡Attention TAC People!

Press 'p' on your keyboard to make this palette go away.

Max width: 1200px
Color Hex R G B
Blue from Logo#003d65 0 61 101
Darker Blue#021020 2 16 32
Red from Logo#780500 120 5 0
Darker Red#400000 64 0 0
Gray from Modern Firm Site#f3f2ed 243 242 237
Bright, Light Blue#ccebff 204 235 255
Form Input Background Blue#accfe6 172 207 230
Slightly Darker Blue#002e4d 0 46 77
Slightly Darker Gray#e6e5e0 0 46 77
Darker Gray#cccbc7 0 46 77
Lighter Logo Blue#005c99 204 235 255
Login Link Blue#598fb3 89 143 179
Slighty Lighter Red#99150f 153 21 15
Slighty Darker Gray#b3b2ae 179 178 174
Hunter Green#013b23 1 59 35
Lighter Green #025935 ? ? ?
Beige Charcoal #1f1e1e ? ? ?
"Metallic Gold" #D4AF37 ? ? ?
"Darker Green" #012e1b ? ? ?

Tag Archives: Parsippany NJ Property Distribution Lawyer

Division of Assets Case Involving $2.25 Million Bonus Goes Before the NJ Supreme Court

Morris County NJ Division of Assets LawyersThe New Jersey Supreme Court is currently considering a complex property division case involving a $2.25 million bonus. The matter presents the following question: should division of assets address solely a 14-month marriage, or the 8 years during which the couple cohabitated before marrying?

The aforementioned case involves defendant, Bernice Aucoin-Thieme, and her ex-husband, plaintiff Michael Thieme. The couple met in 2000 and moved in together in 2002 after Bernice became pregnant. Their daughter was born in January of 2003 and the couple reportedly engaged in a verbally and physically abusive relationship before marrying in 2010. Just 14 months later, Michael filed for divorce.

The couple reached a property settlement agreement in June of 2012, which included provisions related to alimony, child support, child custody, and division of assetsShortly after the divorce was finalized (approximately 3 months), Michael received a bonus of $2.25 million, which was contingent upon the sale of the biotechnology start-up company where Michael worked.

Michael deposited $200,000 of the bonus into a joint bank account in October 2012. Unbeknownst to him, Bernice was still able to access the account, from which she withdrew $200,029. Michael subsequently filed a lawsuit to recover the money and the case went before a Superior Court Judge in Hudson County. Bernice argued that she is entitled to a part of the bonus based on the years that the couple lived together and she cared for their child. Hudson County Superior Court Judge Maureen Sogluizzo ruled that Bernice should receive $30,228, based on the 14 months of marriage.

After two lower court rulings, the case is now before the New Jersey Supreme Court, which will decide whether or not Bernice should receive $30,228 or $200,029. This case spells significant implications for other divorce cases in New Jersey, as it addresses the fundamental question of whether or not a couple’s period of cohabitation before marriage should be factored into the equitable distribution of property. Under current New Jersey law, the answer is no. Whether or not this policy will change in the future remains to be seen.

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our highly experienced New Jersey divorce attorneys are well-versed in New Jersey law regarding asset division in divorce. We regularly assist clients with high net worth divorce, high profile divorce, complex property distribution, and divorce involving businesses and investments. For additional information and a cost-free consultation, contact our Morris County law offices today at 973-828-0829.

For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: N.J. Supreme Court Hears Dispute Over $2.25M Post-Divorce Bonus After Short Marriage

Begin Your Conversation

  • Disclaimer: Contacting our firm via the internet does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information through this form.

Contact Our Morris County Office



Morristown / Morris County Law Office

65 Madison Ave

Suite 420

Morristown, NJ 07960

Morris County Mediation Office Map