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In Re Marriage of Komnick

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 27, 1979.

IN RE MARRIAGE OF MYRA Z. KOMNICK, PETITIONER-APPELLANT AND CROSS-APPELLEE, AND LOREN J. KOMNICK, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE AND CROSS-APPELLANT.


APPEAL from the Circuit Court of McLean County; the Hon. WAYNE C. TOWNLEY, JR., Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE CRAVEN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied December 26, 1979.

The parties, petitioner Myra Komnick (wife), and respondent Loren Komnick (husband), were granted a judgment for dissolution of marriage on April 6, 1978, after 30 years of marriage. After the July 26, 1978, hearing on property division, a supplemental judgment order for dissolution of marriage was filed on February 8, 1979. The wife is appealing from that part of the order that ruled, as a matter of law, that the increase in value of the farmland inherited by the husband during the parties' marriage was not marital property. The husband is cross-appealing from the part of the order that awarded to the wife the use of the marital home and one-half interest in a life insurance policy without any cost to her, and the amount of maintenance awarded.

In 1965, during the marriage, the husband inherited an interest in a 194-acre tract of farmland. The parties have stipulated that the value of husband's interest in the farmland on the date he inherited it in 1965 was $123,600. Further, the parties have stipulated that the value of husband's interest in the land on the date of the dissolution was $634,973. Therefore, the value of husband's interest increased or appreciated $511,373 from the date he inherited it until the date of the dissolution.

No substantial capital improvements were made to the farmland by the parties. Also, the parties have stipulated that the increase in value of the farmland was substantially due to economic factors and/or other external factors rather than through improvements made to the farmland by the parties.

• 1 The wife's appeal presents us with a clear and precise question of law: whether the increase in value of property inherited during marriage is marital property? We hold that it is.

Section 503 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 40, par. 503) (hereinafter Act), in part, reads:

"(a) For purposes of this Act, `marital property' means all property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage, except the following, which is known as `non-marital property':

(1) property acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent;

(2) property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent;

(3) property acquired by a spouse after a judgment of legal separation;

(4) property excluded by valid agreement of the parties;

(5) the increase in value of property acquired before ...


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