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In Re Marriage of Bentivenga

ILLINOIS APPELLATE COURT — SECOND DISTRICT AFFIRMED IN PART, AND REVERSED IN PART AND REMANDED.


OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 16, 1982.

IN RE MARRIAGE OF JOAN BENTIVENGA, PETITIONER AND COUNTERRESPONDENT-APPELLANT, AND VINCENT BENTIVENGA, JR., RESPONDENT AND COUNTERPETITIONER-APPELLEE.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. Alphonse F. Witt, Judge, presiding.

PRESIDING JUSTICE SEIDENFELD DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Joan Bentivenga appeals from a judgment dissolving her marriage to Vincent Bentivenga, Jr. She challenges the classification and distribution of property, the award of attorney's fees, denial of maintenance, and denial of support for a child who would be living at home while attending college.

The parties were married January 28, 1961. They have two children, Mark (age 20 at the time of trial) and Scott (age 19 at the time of trial).

The husband, an attorney, began work as an Assistant State's Attorney in Cook County shortly after the marriage. He held the position for 12 years, after which he worked for the Cook County Sheriff's Office for five years. He was elected a Circuit Court Judge of Cook County in 1976 and occupied that position at the time of trial. At the time of trial he was 44 years old and in good health. His annual gross salary was $42,500 in 1977 and 1978, and $50,500 in 1979 and 1980; his take-home pay at the time of trial was $2,445 per month.

The wife worked as a secretary for a real estate appraiser before the marriage and for about seven months thereafter. In 1975 she started working part-time as a legal secretary, becoming a full-time legal secretary about three months before the trial. She has some college credits but no degree. Her 1980 earned income was $9,966.92, and her estimated gross income for 1981 was $14,000. She was 45 and in good health at the time of trial. During the marriage she was primarily responsible for doing household chores and taking care of the children.

The parties disagreed over the extent to which the wife and her now-deceased father helped the husband obtain his job as Assistant State's Attorney, the extent of her assistance with his campaign for the bench, and the amount of time they spent entertaining "business guests" at home.

The marital home was purchased in August 1968 at a price of $45,000. The husband made a downpayment of $15,000 from his own funds and obtained loans of $15,000 each from his aunt and father; the loans were combined into one mortgage instrument. At the time of trial, $9,600 remained due on the amount owing to his aunt; after he made one or two monthly payments of $103 to his father, they agreed that rather than repay the remainder the husband would deposit the money into a savings account to finance his children's education.

At the time of trial, the wife and the two children lived in the family home; the husband had been living in a rented condominium since late 1980.

The wife inherited $13,000 from her father during the marriage. She gave $8,000 to her husband, who deposited the money into a savings account, and spent the rest on furniture and household improvements.

At the time of trial Mark was attending Loyola University in Chicago and living at home with the wife. Scott graduated from high school in June 1981 and attends Notre Dame University.

The wife filed her petition for dissolution, and the husband counterpetitioned for dissolution. A judgment for dissolution was entered August 4, 1981.

I. Property Division

The trial court divided the property:

Wife Husband A. Marital property

Savings Accounts (six) *fn1 $ 30,125 $ 30,125 Automobiles 500 4,000 Marital home (valued by the court at $120,000, less $9,600 mortgage - proceeds to Wife 70%) 77,280 33,120 Furniture 18,000 _____ Pension Funds (Cook County, State of Illinois) 68,028 ________ ________ $125,905 $135,273

B. Non-marital property Savings Account at Harris Trust ___ $ 5,000 1st Federal Savings Account ___ 25,719 _________ ________ $ 0 $ 30,719


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