Patrick and Carol Kelly were married in 1984, and divorced 10 years later, in 1994. At the time of their marriage they were both age 32.
In 1987, three years after their marriage, Patrick filed and won a Federal Civil Rights Whistleblower lawsuit against the Village of Oak Park Police Department.
Because of this lawsuit, Patrick settled with the Village of Oak Park to pay him an amount equal to 60% of his former salary as an Oak Park Police Officer when he turned aged 50 in 2002.
The Federal Civil Rights Judgment also stated that Patrick’s “Present Wife” shall be entitled to receive 25% of the net payments Patrick was entitled to receive for a total of eight years (96 months).
After Patrick and Carol divorced in 1994, Patrick married his second wife, whose name was Kimellen.
Patrick continued to receive payments from the time he turned age 50 in 2002 until he died in 2017 at age 65.
Upon Patrick’s death, the Village of Oak Park began to make payments to Patrick’s second wife, Kimellen.
Patrick’s former wife, Carol, then filed a Post-Decree Petition in Divorce Court alleging that it was she that was entitled to receive future payments from the Village of Oak Park pursuant to the Federal Civil Rights lawsuit, and not Kimellen, Patrick’s wife at the time of his death.
The Cook County Trial Court initially determined that Patrick’s second wife, Kimellen, was entitled to receive future benefits from the Village of Oak Park Federal Civil Rights Judgment because Kimellen was the “Present Wife” at the time of Patrick’s death.
The Illinois Appellate Court reversed this decision, and made a determination that all future payments from this Federal Civil Rights lawsuit after the death of Patrick belonged to Carol, who was Patrick’s “Present Wife” at the time the Federal Civil Rights Judgment was agreed to back in 1987.
In summary, the Illinois Appellate Court made a determination that Carol’s right to 25% of Patrick’s future Federal Civil Rights Judgment was a separate asset belonging solely to Carol, and not one marital asset belonging solely to Patrick; therefore, Carol was entitled to receive all future Village of Oak Park Federal Civil Rights payments because she was Patrick’s “Present Wife” at the time the settlement was reached.