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In Re Marriage of Parr



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Kane County; the Hon. FRED MORELLI, Judge, presiding.


In January of 1981, the appellant, Betty Joan Parr (Joan) and the appellee, Charles Parr (Charles) were granted a decree of dissolution of their marriage. The circuit court for the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit also entered an order which disposed of the parties' marital and non-marital assets, and granted Joan maintenance. Joan appeals, asserting that the property disposition was in error, and that the amount awarded as maintenance was inadequate.

The parties were married in October of 1968. For both parties it was a second marriage. At the time of the marriage, Joan owned a home referred to as the Second Street property. Charles was the beneficial owner of a home referred to as the 157 Ingleside property. Charles also held title to four oil and mineral leases, and owned approximately 1,940 shares of stock in the National Brush Company (National Brush) of which Charles was the president. Approximately 1,635 of these shares were purchased prior to the marriage. Charles was also personally liable for two outstanding loans. One loan for approximately $80,000 was owed to the Merchants Bank of Aurora. The other loan for $60,000 was owed to Charles' mother.

From the time of the marriage and up until 1974, Joan's Second Street property was rented out. The rental proceeds were placed in Joan's personal bank account. During the marriage, both Joan and Charles managed their incomes and assets out of separate, personal bank accounts. There was only one joint account. The joint account was used to pay all household and personal expenses.

In 1973, Charles and Joan bought a $38,500 condominium in Florida. The parties took out a loan to make the downpayment. Title was taken in joint tenancy. In 1974, Joan sold the Second Street home for $25,000. Joan applied $14,000 of the proceeds to satisfy the loan for the condominium downpayment. The remaining $10,000 was deposited in her personal account. In 1975, Charles quitclaimed his interest in the condominium to Joan. The condominium was used by the Parrs and was also rented out to various parties, including National Brush. Joan collected the rental proceeds from the condominium and deposited them in her personal account. She also paid the mortgage and the expenses on the condominium out of her personal account. At the time of the trial, the stipulated appraised value of the condominium and its furnishings was $69,000.

Shortly before the marriage, Joan, who had previously worked for an ad agency, formed her own advertising agency, Integro Advertising (Integro). After the marriage, Integro was incorporated. Joan, the sole shareholder and employee, was paid a salary of $6,000 a year. This income was generally deposited in her personal account.

By 1971, Integro, Inc. had attained sufficient assets to make a downpayment on a three-unit apartment building, the Greene Court apartments. All financial transactions on the Greene Court apartments were handled out of an Integro, Inc., account. When Integro, Inc., was dissolved in 1978, title to the Green Court apartments was transferred to Joan, individually. Joan continued to collect the rents and pay expenses on the building out of a personal account. At the time of the trial, this apartment had an appraised value of $75,000 with an outstanding mortgage of $22,500.

In 1978, Charles borrowed an additional $132,407.46 from the Merchants Bank loan account to finance the purchase of a home referred to as the Southlawn residence. Charles became the holder of the beneficial interest in Southlawn. Joan and Charles moved from Charles' Ingleside home into the Southlawn home. Shortly after they moved, the 157 Ingleside home was sold for $95,000. Most of the proceeds from this sale were used to reduce the indebtedness on the Merchants Bank loan. At the time of the trial on the property disposition, approximately $100 remained due on this Merchants Bank loan and $60,000 remained due on the note to Charles' mother.

In early January of 1980, Charles moved into the Florida condominium. In March, he filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. In September of 1980, grounds for dissolution were established. After a trial to determine the disposition of property, the trial court entered an order finding that the parties had made a valid and binding agreement concerning the disposition of property. Pursuant to this agreement, the court found the following:

(1) The Southlawn property was awarded to Charles as a non-marital asset.

(2) The shares of National Brush stock purchased prior to the marriage were non-marital assets and awarded to Charles.

(3) A $10,000 note Charles received from the sale of the Ingleside property was a non-marital asset awarded to Charles.

(4) The oil leases were non-marital assets of Charles Parr.

(5) The Greene Court apartments were a non-marital asset and ...

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