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In Re Marriage of Wentink



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Herman Knell, Judge, presiding.


Rehearing denied April 11, 1985.

In consolidated appeals from certain orders entered in an action for dissolution of marriage, petitioner contends that (1) the apportionment of the marital assets was inequitable; (2) the amount awarded her for child support was inadequate; and (3) the supplemental order requiring her to pay the fees of respondent's attorneys for this appeal was improper. Respondent cross-appeals from that portion of the order allocating the marital assets, also contending that the distribution was inequitable.

Judgment for dissolution was entered on July 8, 1983. No issues pertaining to those portions of the order dissolving the marriage and awarding custody of the minor child to petitioner are raised in this appeal. Testimony and evidence presented at hearings on the remaining issues established that the parties were married in 1970 and have one child — Holly — born in 1975. Petitioner, 38 years of age at the time of trial, has a bachelor's degree in business and worked in the commercial banking field for 2 1/2 years prior to the marriage; but, except for volunteer work which she discontinued when Holly was born, she was not employed during the 12-year marriage. At the age of 25, she received the corpus of a trust established by her grandfather which consisted of more than 5,600 shares of AT&T stock, and upon the death of her mother, in 1977, she inherited approximately $500,000, of which $120,000 was placed in a trust for Holly. She had also acquired various items of furniture, jewelry, furs and silver before the marriage. Respondent, also 38 years of age, has a master's degree in civil engineering and has worked for a firm as a consultant in that field for more than 15 years, earning approximately $46,000 in salary and a $7,500 bonus annually at the time of dissolution. Prior to the marriage, respondent had about $5,000 in savings, some furniture, and jewelry.

In 1971, the parties purchased the marital home for $80,000 with a down payment of $35,000 — apparently obtained primarily from the sale of some securities — and a $45,000 mortgage. Several years later, they contracted for the construction of an addition to the home which ultimately cost over $200,000, payment therefor being made with dividends from certain of petitioner's securities and a $140,000 bank loan, $110,000 of which remained outstanding at the time of judgment. Throughout their marriage, both parties deposited their incomes into joint accounts, petitioner's income approximating 60% and respondent's 40% of the total contributions thereto. Household and family expenses were paid from those accounts and, on occasion, monies were withdrawn to purchase securities, both jointly and in their individual names. On July 8, 1983, the trial court entered its written order containing the following valuation and distribution of property:

Non-marital Property Petitioner Respondent

Negotiable securities $1,111,695 Jewelry 40,000 Silverplate 10,000 Furniture 10,000 Furs 2,000 __________ __________ Total $1,173,695 -0-

Marital Property

Marital residence $275,000 *fn1 -0- Negotiable securities 52,200 $49,400 Furniture 73,660 8,154 Cash -0- 100,600 1979 Volkswagen 4,000 -0- 1981 Cutlass -0- 6,000 *fn2 __________ __________ Total $404,860 $164,154


Indebtedness on marital home $153,000 Cash to be paid to respondent 100,600 *fn3 ____________ __________ Total $253,600 -0- Net award $151,260 $164,154

In addition, the court ordered respondent to pay petitioner $350 per month for Holly's support and each party to pay his or her own attorney fees and costs. On August 4, 1983, petitioner filed a notice of appeal, and on August 17, 1983, respondent filed a notice of cross-appeal. Thereafter, respondent moved for and was granted attorney fees to defend petitioner's appeal, from which order petitioner takes the second appeal consolidated herein.


Petitioner first contends that the trial court abused its discretion in apportioning the marital assets because it failed either to consider or give sufficient weight to her contributions to the acquisition and preservation of the marital estate.

• 1 It is well settled that the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 40, par. 501 et seq.) requires the trial court to divide the marital property in "just proportions," taking into account all relevant factors (In re Marriage of Aschwanden (1980), 82 Ill.2d 31, 411 N.E.2d 238), including those enumerated ...

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