Accrued Leave


There was another issue in the Smith case that I discussed last week.  Mr. Smith had retired two weeks before his divorce trial.  Before the decision was entered, we asked the judge to reopen the trial to take evidence of money that Mr. Smith failed to disclose in the amount of $30,000 that he received for accrued leave at retirement.

Mr. Smith’s lawyer argued that these funds were not marital property and so they belonged entirely to Mr. Smith.  Thomasian v Thomasian, 79 Md. App. 188, 556 A.2d 675, 1989 Md. App LEXIS (1989), held that a divorcing spouse’s accrued leave was not marital property.  The trial court agreed.

On appeal, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals distinguished between accrued leave and accrued holiday pay, and actual pay received during the marriage.  The Court said that Mr. Smith was owed money for the accrued leave when he retired and was actually paid for the leave before the entry of the order of divorce.  It was no longer accrued leave, which is not marital property, but it was now money in hand, which is marital property.   Smith v Smith, 996 A.2d 416; 193 Md.App. 29 (2010).