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Thieme v. Aucoin-Thieme

Supreme Court of New Jersey
151 A.3d 545 (2016)


Michael Thieme (plaintiff) and Bernice Aucoin-Thieme (defendant) lived together in a domestic partnership for eight years and were married for 14 months until they divorced. During their cohabitation, Thieme worked for International Biometrics Group (IBG) while Aucoin-Thieme cared for the couple’s child. Thieme did not have an ownership stake in IBG, but IBG committed to giving Thieme a substantial compensation for his contributions if the company were sold. Thieme worked long hours, which prevented Aucoin-Thieme from working, but the couple decided that the long hours would be worth it for the deferred compensation from IBG. Thieme and Aucoin-Thieme made their financial decisions with the possibility of this compensation in mind. IBG was sold three months after the couple finalized the divorce. IBG paid Thieme $2.25 million as a closing bonus. Aucoin-Thieme moved for a share of the bonus. The trial court ruled that Aucoin-Thieme was entitled to an equitable distribution of the amount of the bonus that Thieme earned during the marriage. The appellate court affirmed. Thieme appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Patterson, J.)

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