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In Re Marriage of Rossi

OPINION FILED FEBRUARY 22, 1983.

IN RE MARRIAGE OF CLARICE ROSSI, PETITIONER-APPELLEE AND CROSS-APPELLANT, AND JOSEPH ROSSI, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT AND CROSS-APPELLEE.


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Wayne Olson, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE MCGLOON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied April 4, 1983.

Respondent Joseph Rossi appeals and petitioner Clarice Rossi cross-appeals from the financial and property dispositions of a supplemental judgment for dissolution of marriage entered December 1, 1981.

On appeal, respondent contends (1) that the judgment is contrary to law and equity because it is punitive; (2) that the trial court's findings and orders with respect to the designation and valuation of certain assets are erroneous; and (3) that the trial court's order awarding petitioner's attorney fees and costs of $42,864.82 to be paid by respondent is erroneous.

On cross-appeal, petitioner contends that the property distribution is erroneous and the award of attorney fees is insufficient.

We affirm in part, reverse in part and remand with directions.

On January 30, 1979, judgment for dissolution of marriage of respondent and petitioner was entered. The matters of property settlement and maintenance were continued. On June 22, 1981, the circuit court of Cook County entered its memorandum opinion on these issues, reserving the issue of assessment of petitioner's attorney fees. The trial court entered its final supplemental judgment for dissolution of marriage on December 1, 1981, and respondent appeals.

The parties were married for 17 years prior to separating in 1978. Both parties are in their early forties. As a result of the marriage, four children were born. Two are currently residing with petitioner.

At the time of the marriage, petitioner was an elementary school teacher. She ceased teaching to raise the parties' family. Respondent held various jobs during the marriage. In 1971, respondent began managing Progressive Bronze Works, Inc. (PBW), a business which manufactures brass ecclesiastical supplies. Respondent is currently president and 100% shareholder of PBW.

The judgment from which this appeal and cross-appeal are taken distributed the assets as follows. Respondent was awarded: (1) 100% of the stock of PBW valued at $600,000; (2) the real estate on which PBW is situated, known as the Spaulding Avenue property, with equity valued at $73,000; (3) the beneficial interest in PBW's pension fund, established by respondent, which had $20,184 on deposit; (4) three real estate limited partnerships for tax shelter purposes, in which respondent invested $88,180 after the judgment of dissolution was entered and which the trial court designated as non-marital property of respondent; (5) 100% of the stock of Exchem Corporation valued at $3,000; (6) furniture and personalty valued at $5,000.

Petitioner was awarded: (1) the marital residence located in Park Ridge, Illinois, with a gross equity of $130,000, subject to all mortgage payments and real estate taxes accruing after June 22, 1981; (2) $67,000, representing the sale proceeds, held in escrow, of a lot at 990 Rose Street, Park Ridge, Illinois; (3) various shares of stock held in respondent's name valued at $47,700 on January 30, 1979; (4) sole title to a vacant lot in Delavan, Wisconsin, valued at $35,000 and subject to real estate taxes after June 22, 1981; (5) $25,200 representing the sale proceeds, held in escrow, of a 32-foot boat purchased by respondent in 1976; and (6) furniture and personalty valued at $15,000.

Respondent was also ordered to pay petitioner the principal amount of $100,000 in five equal installments plus interest at a rate of 8% per annum. The court further ordered respondent to pay $2,500 per month unallocated maintenance and child support, all extraordinary medical and dental expenses of the minor children and tuition for any of the children who desire to attend college. Respondent was also ordered to keep a $30,000 life insurance policy in effect so long as his responsibilities under the judgment had not been fulfilled. Finally, respondent was ordered to pay petitioner's attorney fees and costs of $42,864.82.

• 1 First, respondent contends that the December 1, 1981, order is punitive and therefore contrary to law and equity. To support this contention, he argues that the order takes all his assets, with the exception of the Spaulding Avenue property, leaving him destitute. We disagree.

The total value of the marital assets, as set forth above, equals $1,121,084. Of this amount, respondent was awarded approximately $701,185 or 63%. The total value of petitioner's award was approximately $419,900 or 37%. During oral arguments before this panel, attorneys for both parties reiterated that they agreed with the court's valuation of the marital assets with the exception of the stock of PBW. Therefore, assuming, arguendo, that the stock of PBW is worth its book value ...


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