Q: Will my spouse be able to share in the value of my license or advanced educational degree?
ANSWER: If all or a part of the education and training necessary to acquire the license or advanced educational degree was completed during the marriage and if all or a part of the cost for the education and training were paid from marital assets, then it is likely that your spouse will have an interest in its value. The value of the license or advanced educational degree is actually determined by calculating whether the license or degree has or is likely to enhance your earnings over your expected work life. An accountant will usually be retained to prepare that evaluation, and there are many factors considered by the evaluator in making that determination. Once the value is determined, the next step is to determine what percentage of the value of the enhanced earnings should be used to calculate your spouse’s interest. There are many factors that a Court will take into account in arriving at that percentage, including, but not limited to, the length of the marriage, your spouse’s contributions to the marriage while your license or degree was being acquired (e.g. – providing financial support, raising children, etc.), what percentage of the cost was funded by marital earnings, etc.