Appeal from the Circuit Court of Mercer County; the Hon. David
DeDoncker, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE HEIPLE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
This is the second appeal in this case. In 1979, the circuit court dissolved the parties' marriage and distributed the marital property. We reversed and were later reversed by the supreme court. The cause was remanded and the respondent, Roger Hofmann, appeals from the result on remand.
The trial court has entered a total of three orders in this case valuing and distributing the marital property. The primary controversy revolves around the marital or non-marital status of two parcels of farmland known as the McManus Farm and the Sackville Farm. In order to fully understand the respondent's arguments, we will summarize the orders entered in this cause.
In October of 1979, the trial court entered an order which designated the following as marital property:
Sackville Farm $430,000 Farm equipment 51,000 Corn 19,000 Arizona lot 4,300 ________ $504,300
Petitioner's Share (30%) $151,290
McManus Farm was found to be non-marital property. Maintenance and attorney fees were not awarded to the petitioner.
After the 1979 order was appealed, the Illinois Supreme Court remanded the cause and directed the trial court to revalue the Sackville Farm due to decreases in farm prices and to reconsider the non-marital status of the McManus Farm. The court was also directed to revalue the corn equity and to reconsider the adequacy of the petitioner's 30% share in the event the farm property was devalued. Designation of the Sackville Farm as marital property was affirmed as was the denial of maintenance and attorney fees. On remand, the trial court made the following disposition in an order entered in June of 1983:
Sackville Farm $387,600 McManus Farm 168,000 Farm equipment 51,000 Corn 9,750 Arizona lot 4,300 ________ $620,650
Petitioner's share (30%) $186,195 Plus attorney fees 15,000 ________ $201,195
The court reduced the market value of Sackville Farm by 15% but added to the marital equity the amount paid as rent by the respondent after the marriage was dissolved in 1979. The rent was added because the respondent had originally purchased Sackville Farm from his parents on an installment contract. The respondent defaulted, and the farm reverted to his parents. The respondent continued to farm the property and paid rent to his parents. During the former appeals it was determined that this forfeiture and transfer was an attempt to fraudulently deprive the petitioner of her marital property interest in the farm. The trial court reasoned that the rent payments to the respondent's parents were actually a reduction in indebtedness and served to increase the marital equity in Sackville.
The June 1983 order declared that the McManus Farm was marital property and also reduced the corn equity. The petitioner's share of the marital property was left at 30%. The court denied maintenance but awarded attorney fees. By agreement of the parties, the petitioner's award was designated as maintenance in gross for tax purposes.
On rehearing, the court modified the above distribution in an order entered in October of 1983, which is the subject of this appeal:
Sackville Farm $331,600 McManus Farm 30,000 Farm equipment 51,000 Corn 9,750 Arizona lot ...