June 26, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Reasonably Ascertainable Value of Accrued Vacation and Sick Leave May Be Divided in Dissolution of Marriage

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re Marriage of Cardona and Castro on Monday, January 13, 2014.

Disposition of Property—Equitable Distribution of Marital Property—Accrued Leave.

The Supreme Court considered whether accrued vacation and sick leave may be considered marital property subject to division under CRS § 14-10-113 of the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act (UDMA). The Court held that where a spouse has an enforceable right to be paid for accrued vacation or sick leave, such accrued leave earned during the marriage is marital property. Where the value of such leave at the time of dissolution can be reasonably ascertained, it is subject to equitable division under the UDMA. However, where the value of such leave at the time of dissolution cannot be reasonably ascertained, the court should consider the employee spouse’s right to such leave as an economic circumstance of the parties when equitably dividing the marital estate.

In this case, the Court concluded that the trial court erred in considering the value of the spouse’s accrued leave as part of the marital estate because no competent evidence was presented to establish that the spouse had an enforceable right to payment for such leave. The Court therefore affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment on narrower grounds.

Summary and full case available here.

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