The parties’ divorce agreement defined how the husband’s fireman’s pension was to be divided. They would equally split the marital portion.

The husband was later injured while on active duty as a city firefighter. He started collecting disability benefits under the fireman’s fund. Wife wanted to start receiving her share of those benefits.

The husband argued that his disability benefits were not part of his wife’s marital property distribution. The husband explained that he was 61 years old. He had not yet retired. He said the mandatory age for his retirement was 63. At age 63 he would begin receiving his fireman’s annuity. It would be divided with the wife per their agreement.

Until then, the husband asserted that the disability benefits are not retirement benefits. They were an income replacement. The wife was not entitled to the income replacement portion. Wife appealed.

The Appellate Court said that the divorce decree was clear. The wife was to receive her portion at his retirement. Not of his duty disability benefits taken prior to his retirement.

In re Marriage of Farrell, 2017 IL App (1st) 170611, December 29, 2017.

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