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07/28/87 In Re Marriage of Ronald M. Albiani

July 28, 1987



and CORAL IRENE ALBIANI, Respondent-Appellant

512 N.E.2d 30, 159 Ill. App. 3d 519, 111 Ill. Dec. 126 1987.IL.1072

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Charles J. Grupp, Judge, presiding.


PRESIDING JUSTICE SCARIANO delivered the opinion of the court. STAMOS and BILANDIC, JJ., concur.


In an action for dissolution of marriage, Coral Albiani (Coral) appeals from the amount and duration of the trial court's award of unallocated maintenance and child support, its division of the responsibility for the payment of one of their children's advanced education expenses, and its failure to adjudicate the issue of another minor child's schooling costs. We affirm.

A review of the record discloses that the appellee Ronald Albiani (Ronald) married Coral in 1961 and that he instituted divorce proceedings in 1984. There were three children born of the marriage: their eldest son Roy was 23 years old at the time of the divorce and self-sufficient; their second son Mark was 21 and was preparing to commence his first year of pharmacy school at a cost of $6,500 per year; and their youngest son Cory was 14 and a freshman in high school. Coral was awarded custody of Cory by agreement of the parties. Mark also resided with Coral during vacations and holidays from school.

Ronald was 50 years old at the time of the trial, and for the 24 years prior to trial, he had been employed as a teacher at Niles Township Community High School. He was rated in the seventh out of eight possible salary strata in the school district, and his gross income was $44,840 per year. Approximately $4,500 per year was deducted from that amount as his contribution to the State teachers' retirement system. In 1985, he earned an additional sum of $2,350 for teaching summer school and approximately $1,000 more for tutoring, though he testified that he would not be doing such extra work in the future.

Coral was 47 years old when the trial commenced. She earned a degree in education prior to marrying, and for 10 months after their wedding she worked full time as a teacher. After the birth of their first son in 1962, however, she stopped working and devoted herself to homemaking. She did not work outside their home again until 1970, when she obtained part-time employment on Saturdays only. In 1980 she procured full-time employment when, for a nine-month period, she worked as a teacher's aide. She did not work again until late April of 1983 when she obtained a full-time position as a secretary with the U.S. Army at Fort Sheridan, where at the time of trial she was learning to operate a word processor at a salary of approximately $14,300 per year. She had additional income of $1,000 from teaching miscellaneous courses at the College of Lake County.

The testimony at trial disclosed that the family travelled fairly extensively when they were together, routinely embarking on extended trips for two or three months during the summer. According to Ronald, these trips were modest in scope and cost, and the family often camped outdoors to minimize its expenses. After the parties separated, Ronald and Coral travelled separately. For example, Ronald vacationed in Cape Cod for a month in 1983, toured Italy and France for a month in 1984, and spent six weeks in Collins, Virginia, in 1985, though he testified that his expenses during these trips were not great. Coral testified that during the two years preceding the trial, she took four or five pleasure trips a year with the children and several other shorter or weekend trips.

At trial, Coral proffered an "Average Monthly Expense Affidavit," in which she asserted that monthly expenses for herself and her minor child Cory totaled $3,398, including the cost of Coral's biweekly psychotherapy sessions and post-separation travel expenses. Coral was never cross-examined concerning the affidavit.

On October 22, 1985, the trial court rendered the decree of dissolution appealed from herein. Regarding the division of marital property, the Judge ordered that Coral was to receive the marital home, worth approximately $100,000 free and clear of any encumbrances, together with all the parties' furniture therein of an unspecified value, three vacant lots in Washington, Illinois, appraised at $10,000, Individual Retirement Accounts in her name valued at $6,000, her checking account with an undetermined value, and a credit union account valued at $400. Thus, Coral received property valued at $116,400. On the other hand, Ronald received his interest in the State of Illinois teachers' retirement fund valued at $45,800, an Individual Retirement Account in his name worth $8,000, a certificate of deposit valued at $23,300, stock valued at $2,431.75, his credit union account with a value of $2,740.03, and a Merrill Lynch Ready Asset account in his name worth $5,000. The total value of these assets was $86,471.78.

The controversial portion of the court's order concerned maintenance, child support, and responsibility for their ...

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