In a case that has potential ramifications for future divorce litigation, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday about the divisibility of accumulated vacation days. The Quad City Times reports that at issue is whether a non-employee spouse is entitled to a share of the value of accumulated vacation days. The trial court had awarded the wife $15,000 as her share of her husbands days finding that the days were akin to money in a savings account. The ruling was reversed on appeal and then granted discretionary review.
It should be interesting to see how this pans out. I would imagine that the Court's ruling would have to take into consideration how the accumulated days are treated by the employee spouse's employer. For instance, if the days are treated as a benefit that can be liquidated or compensated upon separation from employment, I believe there would be much more support for a ruling favoring their divisibility. However, if the employer's benefit package is more of a "use it or lose it" form, I do not see how the Court can divide an asset in which the employee spouse is not truly vested.
The next step could very well be an argument that one spouse is dissipating marital assets by using vacation days to take off from work to attend divorce proceedings in which the vacation days are being divided by the court. Stay tuned.