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06/29/87 In Re Marriage of Virginia M. Randall

June 29, 1987



and EUGENE F. RANDALL, Respondent-Appellant

510 N.E.2d 1153, 157 Ill. App. 3d 892, 110 Ill. Dec. 122 1987.IL.915

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Herbert R. Friedlund, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE BUCKLEY delivered the opinion of the court. CAMPBELL and O'CONNOR, JJ., concur.


Respondent, Eugene Randall, appeals from the valuation and distribution of certain marital property, as well as an award of maintenance incident to the trial court's judgment dissolving his marriage with petitioner, Virginia Randall. For the following reasons, we affirm.

Eugene and Virginia were married on November 22, 1958, and had two children during their marriage, both of whom were emancipated at the time of dissolution. In July 1983, Virginia filed a petition to dissolve the marriage on the ground of mental and physical cruelty. At the time the proceedings were initiated, Virginia was 54 years old.

Trial of this case commenced in September 1985 on the issues of valuation and division of marital property. At the outset of the trial, the parties stipulated to the value of a number of assets, including the marital residence, several parcels of real property, Eugene's pension, two bank accounts and other items of personal property. As the following testimony reveals, however, disputes at trial arose primarily over the value of each spouse's business, a loan made by Eugene to Mark Rendelman, a cashier's check given to Eugene's mother, and Eugene's workmen's compensation award.

Virginia testified that she had operated a ceramics business for six years until June 1984, at which time she was injured and subsequently hospitalized following an accident which occurred when she was thrown from her husband's truck. She stated that she was presently under a physician's care for the resulting injuries and walked with a cane. Additionally, she was being treated for diabetes at a cost of $46 a month. With respect to her ceramics business, Virginia approximated its worth at $3,200 after considering the value of each asset. Eugene testified that the business was worth more than $3,200, yet admitted he was "not really" in a position to value it.

Aside from her ceramics business, Virginia had also operated a roofing company with her husband known as G&V Roofing which was incorporated with Virginia as president in 1978 or 1979. Virginia acted as administrator of the corporation until 1980, when it was dissolved due to her husband's failure to pay bills. Prior to its dissolution, Virginia cashed a $10,000 certificate of deposit owned jointly by her and her husband, $4,500 of which she used to pay a tax lien due on the corporation and the balance of which she used to pay household, medical, business, and living expenses. Virginia admitted that between 1979 and 1983 she obtained an additional $8,000 by cashing in two insurance policies and withdrawing various funds to cover the aforesaid expenses. At the time of trial, Virginia had incurred approximately $14,000 in medical and business expenses.

Virginia further testified that the $18,000 value her husband's attorney placed on the roofing business was understated, noting that the business, now a proprietorship, owns three vehicles, two kettles, hot luggers, a Smith Beam, and roofing insulation. Virginia disagreed with the Frey Company's appraisal valuing G&V's roofing equipment at $3,500. Virginia additionally claimed, notwithstanding Eugene's testimony to the contrary, that Eugene was currently working as a roofer as evidenced by photographs she had taken of his truck loaded with roofing materials, her observation that he returned home with dirty clothes on various occasions, and her discovery of roofing tar in the washing machine.

Virginia also asserted that out of a $72,656.89 deposit in Clyde Federal Savings and Loan Association made pursuant to a court order prior to trial, a $20,156.89 check was returned to Eugene, who in turn either invested the sum, "blew" it in Las Vegas, or gave it to his mother. Eugene subsequently testified that he gave the money to his mother.

Virginia stated that she had obtained property in Minnesota under a prior divorce settlement, the title of which was placed solely in her name. The property had been sold for $40,000, with $24,000 presently due. According to Virginia, the proceeds of that sale were used to pay the bills of her ceramics business. Eugene claimed that he paid off a $6,000 debt on ...

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