Division Of Property And Assets In Palm Beach County, Florida

Payment to an employee to honor a covenant not to compete is not payment for past services, and should not be treated as a marital asset. In DeMont v. DeMont, the Florida Court of Appeal stated… 

“Third, in no reasonable way can the non-compete/non-solicit payments be described as “like retirement.” The husband correctly argues that payment to an employee to honor a covenant not to compete is not a retirement fund based on past labor and services. This agreement pre-supposed that the husband would not engage in post-termination competitive practices against the employer. The non-compete/non-solicit agreement did not compensate the husband for past work performed for Suddath during the marriage, which might constitute marital labor and thus be deemed a “marital asset” subject to equitable distribution. The final non-compete/non-solicitation payment-which the husband was not to receive until March 2010, or long after the petition for dissolution was filed and the marriage was dissolved-is not comparable to deferred income or a stock option where a spouse’s rights vested during the marriage. Accordingly, the $165,000 payment should not have been treated as a marital asset subject to equitable distribution.”

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