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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Accrued Vacation


Term Definition Accrued Vacation - unused vacation that divorcing spouses sometimes forget to fight about.
Application in Divorce Divorcing couples sometimes forget about unused vacation that each has accrued during the marriage. Many companies require that employees "use or lose" vacation within a certain time; however, others (including many public employee and those protected by union contacts) permit employees to carry it forward until termination or retirement.

Courts are divided about whether unused leave is a martial asset. Some hold that unused leave, "like pension benefits," [is] a form of deferred compensation for services rendered during a marriage"; other have held that unused leave "is really only al alternative form of wages, since it replaces wages on days when the employee does not work."

The sums involved can become substantial, particularly for public employees who are allowed to carry forward years of unused leave. The difficulty stems from the true character of the asset: viewed like pension rights, the leave is marital; seen as an alternative to wages, it is separate property.

And not infrequently, couples fighting over the house and child support and alimony forget to fight about it at all.

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