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In Re Marriage of Keller

OPINION FILED AUGUST 5, 1982.

IN RE MARRIAGE OF LYNN KELLER, PETITIONER-APPELLANT, AND GARY KELLER, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE.


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Bernard B. Wolfe, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE LINN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

After eight years of marriage, Lynn and Gary Keller obtained a dissolution of their marriage in July 1981. Lynn appeals from that portion of the judgment of dissolution of marriage pertaining to the valuation and division of marital property, and the award of attorney fees to be paid her attorneys by Gary. The issues presented for review are whether (1) the trial court, after awarding the marital home to Lynn, erred in requiring her to pay Gary for his interest in the home's equity; (2) the trial court's award to Lynn of an interest in Gary's retirement plan was inadequate; (3) the trial court erred in not requiring Gary to account for disbursements from a savings account; and (4) the trial court's award of attorney fees and costs to Lynn's counsel was inadequate.

We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

FACTS

Gary and Lynn Keller were married on October 21, 1972. They have two children, born in 1976 and 1979. In 1979, Lynn filed her petition for legal separation, which was subsequently amended to a petition for dissolution of marriage. *fn1 In 1981, at the hearing of the cause, the parties stipulated to the majority of the factual issues, including the grounds for dissolution of their marriage.

The evidence and stipulations disclosed that Gary was employed as a truck driver. His gross salary, including base pay and bonus, was $46,800 per year, with a net income of $2212 per month. Lynn had been employed intermittently as a receptionist at a medical center, and ended her latest employment there in November 1980. She had been earning $90 per week at that time. During the marriage, the parties resided in a house they owned in Franklin Park, Illinois. The home was valued at $60,000, and at that time the parties had a net equity of $28,000.

Gary had a Keogh retirement plan, valued at $40,525, which would mature only in the event of Gary's employment termination, permanent disability, attaining the age of 59 1/2, or death. Gary did not have the right to borrow against the plan.

The parties also had a joint savings account, which at one time had a balance of $3000. However, Gary had substantially depleted the account in order to pay for various bills and expenses incurred by both parties.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court entered a judgment of dissolution of marriage. Pursuant to the parties' agreement, the court awarded custody of the two minor children to Lynn, and required Gary to continue to be responsible for their major medical and dental expenses. Gary also was required to maintain the children as beneficiaries of his life insurance policy. The judgment further incorporated the parties' agreement giving Lynn the substantial portion of the personal property.

As for the contested issues, the trial court awarded Lynn the marital home. Gary would receive from Lynn one-half of the home's current equity, $14,000, within six months after the occurrence of any of certain enumerated events: Lynn's remarriage or cohabitation with another person on a resident, continuing conjugal basis; sale of the marital residence; or September 5, 1984. Lynn was also awarded 25% of Gary's retirement plan, $10,125, payable when the plan matured. *fn2

In addition, Lynn was awarded unallocated maintenance and child support of $1000 per month for four years, plus 30% of any bonus Gary might receive. After the conclusion of this period, Lynn is to receive child support payments of $400 per month and 25% of Gary's bonuses.

Last, Gary was required to pay all of Lynn's attorney fees and costs. Lynn's attorneys had petitioned the court for fees and costs totaling over $13,300. Gary was ordered to pay $1320, which was in addition to $2434 that had already been paid.

OPINI ...


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