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In Re Marriage of Cleveland

OPINION FILED AUGUST 6, 1981.

IN RE MARRIAGE OF ROBERT E. CLEVELAND, PETITIONER-APPELLANT, AND FRANCES H. CLEVELAND, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE.


APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. DONALD J. O'SHEA and the Hon. MONICA REYNOLDS, Judges, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE JOHNSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied September 22, 1981.

The marriage of Robert E. Cleveland and Frances H. Cleveland was dissolved on January 6, 1978. The issues of permanent maintenance, child support, distribution of property, attorney's fees and all other issues were reserved by the court to be heard as a bifurcated matter.

After extended evidentiary hearings, the court entered a supplemental judgment and order on August 10, 1979. The order settled the issues of maintenance, custody and child support, and disposed of property of the parties. On September 27, 1979, the court entered an order apportioning attorney's fees. On October 24, 1979, the court entered an order staying enforcement of the supplemental judgment pending appeal. On November 16, 1979, the court entered an order vacating the October 24, 1979, order. Petitioner, Robert E. Cleveland, was ordered to transfer certain stock certificates to respondent. Petitioner brings a consolidated appeal from the orders of August 10, September 27 and November 16, 1979. He raises the following issues for review: (1) whether the trial court erred in determining marital and non-marital property; (2) whether the trial court erred in awarding marital and non-marital property to the respondent; (3) whether the trial court erred in awarding respondent cash in lieu of alleged missing personal property; (4) whether the awards of maintenance and child support were excessive; (5) whether the trial court erred in ordering petitioner to pay the major portion of the legal fees; and (6) whether the trial court erred in vacating the stay order pending appeal.

We affirm.

Petitioner and respondent were married on January 2, 1967. At the time of the marriage, petitioner owned a house in Northbrook, Illinois. The parties moved into the house and resided there until their separation in 1977. In 1976, the petitioner quit claimed his interest in the marital residence to his wife.

In 1969, the parties adopted a son, Robert Scott. The child has continued to reside with his mother. In 1977, after the parties separated, an attorney was appointed guardian ad litem to protect the interest of Robert.

On September 12, 1978, an order was entered granting the respondent exclusive possession of the marital home and ordering the petitioner to move out. On January 6, 1979, a judgment for dissolution was entered.

On July 10, 1979, the trial court began to hold hearings for the disposition of property, maintenance and child support. Child custody was not an issue. The court held separate hearings on each asset to determine its origin and the source of funds used to acquire the assets. We shall present the findings as summarized by the trial court.

The House

The house in Northbrook was acquired by petitioner prior to marriage. Title remained in petitioner's name until the house was conveyed by quit-claim deed to respondent. Petitioner claimed that he placed the realty in respondent's name to avoid possible claims of the Internal Revenue Service. Respondent was to reconvey the property at a later time. Respondent denied that the transfer was temporary. She testified that petitioner had promised, prior to the conveyance, to give her the home so that she and Robert would have a place to live if petitioner lost his tax case. Petitioner ceased making mortgage payments after October 1977.

Florida Lot

This was divided 50/50. Petitioner testified that he purchased the lot for $5500 in 1973. He said that he had purchased it with funds received from distribution of his mother's estate.

U.I.P. Stock

Stock in the United Improving and Investing Corporation was valued at $9600. Petitioner obtained the 2400 shares during the marriage. He claimed, however, that the stock was purchased with funds received as gifts from his mother. The stock was divided 50/50.

Flying Tiger Stock

Stock valued at $11,250 was acquired in 1975. Petitioner claimed that the stock was purchased with funds he inherited from his ...


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