Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division
In re MARRIAGE OF STELLA SANDERS, Petitioner-Appellant, and WILLIAM SANDERS, III, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 91-D-02152; the
Hon. Timothy P. Murphy, Judge, presiding.
Barclay Law Group, P.C., of Chicago (Lester L. Barclay and
Rafael Taylor, of counsel), for appellant.
Bradford & Gordon, LLC, of Chicago (Mitchell B. Gordon
and Maria A. Citino, of counsel), for appellee.
JUSTICE PIERCE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Neville and Simon concurred in the judgment
1 Petitioner Stella Sanders appeals from the circuit
court's order denying her motion to reconsider a prior
order denying Stella's petition to recalculate her
monthly benefits from her ex-husband's retirement fund.
Stella argues the circuit court erred in denying her petition
where a recalculation of her monthly benefits was warranted
and the proper calculation is a "reserved jurisdiction
approach" discussed in In re Marriage of Hunt,
78 Ill.App.3d 653 (1979) (Hunt formula). We affirm.
3 On August 31, 1994, the circuit court entered a judgment
dissolving William and Stella Sanders's 26-year marriage.
The judgment reserved the issue of the division of
William's pension. On July 11, 1996, after a trial before
Judge James G. Donegan, a supplemental judgment for
dissolution was entered, finding the "pension of the
Respondent through his employment with the United States
Government is all marital property up until August 31, 1994,
" and that:
"[t]he Petitioner is awarded one-half of [William's]
pension benefits accrued as of August 31, 1994, said benefits
to be divided pursuant to the same formula in assessing or
ordering Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO), to wit:
50% of the accrued benefits for the period November 1, 1968
to August 31, 1994. Payment of said benefit shall commence
when the pension goes into pay status."
4 In 2012, William retired from the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) after 43 years of employment. William's
pension is held by the Civil Service Retirement System and
administered by the federal government's Office of
Personnel Management (OPM). After his retirement, OPM sent
William interim monthly annuity payments in the net amount of
$3828.34 pending calculation of his full monthly benefits.
5 Sometime in 2012, Stella learned of William's
retirement and "filed a request for the marital portion
of the annuity payments" with the OPM. This request
included a copy of the July 1996 court order. On September 6,
2012, OPM responded in a letter stating that "[b]y court
order your marital share of your former spouse's
retirement benefit is 50% of 322 months of service during the
marriage divided by 532 months of Federal service or 30.26%
of your spouse's retirement benefit. The marital share
times your former spouse's gross annuity benefit of $8936
provides for a $2, 704.03 monthly payment to you."
Beginning October 1, 2012, OPM issued Stella monthly
distributions of $2, 704.03.
6 William requested an audit and review of the above
calculations. On May 29, 2013, OPM issued a
"By court order your former spouse's marital share
of your retirement benefit is 50% of 303 months of service
during the marriage divided by 44 years 4 months of Federal
service or 28.478% of your retirement benefit as of August
31, 1994. The marital shares times your gross annuity benefit
of $3567 provides for a $1, 015.52 ...