In re: Marriage of MacilwaineAnnotate this Case
Married in 1996, the parties had four children between 1997 and 2008. Patricia, previously a nurse, stayed home to raise their children. The couple separated in 2010. In 2012, John became Chief Technology Officer for the Lending Club. His compensation includes a base salary; an annual performance bonus (around half of his base pay); and stock option grants. A judgment of dissolution was entered in December 2012. John was to pay a base monthly spousal support, plus 12.5 percent of John’s earnings over his annual base salary, up to $1,200,000, plus $5,200 per month in base child support and 14 percent of his earnings over his annual base salary as “bonus” support, plus "necessary” education expenses, and uncovered medical expenses. John’s stock options started to vest in 2013; John’s income more than tripled from 2012 to 2014. In 2014, John paid $32,000 per month in child support. John sought to cap his income for calculating bonus child support at $1.2 million per year. The court granted the motion under Family Code 4057(a)(3)’s extraordinarily high earner provision. The court of appeal reversed. Section 4058(a)(1) includes all compensation that is available to the employee; available compensation from stock options should be included in gross income, regardless of whether the parent elects to exercise the option. The trial court applied the incorrect legal standards in determining the “needs of the children” (section 4057(a)(3)), and failed to provide required explanatory findings (section 4056(a)).