Divorce and Disability Pension in Divorce Mediation
An issue that comes up quite often in mediated divorces on Long Island came up a couple of days ago.
Divorce Mediation Case Study: Disability Pensions and Divorce
The Husband is a retired New York City police officer. The portion of his pension that he earned during the marriage is a marital asset, and is subject to distribution between the husband and the wife based on the laws of equitable distribution. However, a common complication arose. A portion of his pension was awarded for a line-of-duty injury. Any compensation that one receives for a personal injury is separate property, is not a marital asset, and is not subject to distribution. Since 1/3 of his pension was awarded for disability, only the remaining 2/3 of the pension is subject to distribution.
Disability Pensions and Divorce: Deferred Compensation Portion of the Disability Pension is Not Separate Property
However, any deferred compensation portion of the disability pension is for length of service or something similar and is not separate property. Therefore, that portion of the disability pension is not compensation for personal injury and is subject to distribution between the husband and the wife.
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