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03/30/88 In Re Marriage of Christine E. Zummo

March 30, 1988

IN RE MARRIAGE OF CHRISTINE E. ZUMMO, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

and VINCENT K. ZUMMO, Respondent-Appellant

521 N.E.2d 621, 167 Ill. App. 3d 566, 118 Ill. Dec. 339 1988.IL.459

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. James P. Fox, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LUND delivered the opinion of the court. GREEN, P.J., and KNECHT, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LUND

On June 24, 1987, the circuit court of Sangamon County entered a judgment of dissolution of marriage dissolving the marriage of Christine and Vincent Zummo. The court awarded petitioner Christine Zummo custody of their children, divided the property between them, and ordered respondent Vincent Zummo to pay a portion of petitioner's attorney fees. Respondent appeals the portion of the order involving division of property and payment of attorney fees. We affirm.

The parties were married on March 15, 1973, and have two children, Nicholas, born January 3, 1974, and Victor, born July 3, 1979. A petition for dissolution of marriage and a petition for an order of protection were filed by petitioner on July 5, 1985, with an ex parte order of protection being entered that day. On July 15, an interim order of protection was entered giving petitioner temporary possession of the marital residence. Respondent was given the right to enter the garage as he needed to get to his tools and supplies used in his part-time carpet laying business. On July 18, petitioner filed a request for modification of the order of protection alleging that on July 17 respondent harassed her and her guests. On July 18, the court entered an order prohibiting respondent from going to the garage.

On September 9, 1985, cars driven by the parties were involved in a collision in which petitioner was injured. Unremarkably, the parties' versions of the incident differed substantially. Respondent said petitioner was following too closely and hit him from behind. Petitioner testified respondent attempted to force her off the road, and her car struck the rear of his vehicle. Petitioner remained at the scene, but respondent fled. Respondent subsequently pleaded guilty to a violation of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 40, pars. 2301-1 through 2303-5) as a result of the occurrence.

The trial in this matter was conducted over four days, September 30, 1986, December 10, 1986, March 16, 1987, and March 26, 1987. Respondent, who employed two other attorneys earlier in the proceeding, switched attorneys in the middle of the trial.

Petitioner was 36 years old and in good health at the time of the hearing. She is a high school graduate with two years of college. At the time she married respondent, she was working at the United States Post Office. However, three months later, upon becoming pregnant, she terminated her employment. Eleven years later, she went to work part time as a cashier for a supermarket when respondent injured his knee. She was still employed there at the time of the filing of the petition for dissolution. She now works full time as a cashier at a car dealership. Her net pay is approximately $175 per week. She is not entitled to any pension benefits.

Respondent is 45 years old and has been employed by the Springfield fire department for the last 12 years. During the marriage, he operated a carpet installation business. However, he injured his knee and has not performed that type of work since 1985. His annual income with the fire department in 1986 was approximately $23,000. He belongs to a mandatory pension plan and provides health insurance for the children through the department. His net take-home pay at the time of the hearing was approximately $1,624 per month.

After the marriage, the parties lived in a home owned by respondent. Petitioner testified she helped respondent remodel this house at a cost of $4,000 to $5,000. After approximately three years, they sold this house and bought one on Rutledge Street making a down payment of $27,000 on the house from the proceeds of the sale. The Rutledge house had not been lived in for six years and required extensive work. They put on a new roof and new siding. They put in new plumbing, new wiring, and a new heating and air-conditioning system. They redid the walls, added two bedrooms, a garage, and an aboveground swimming pool. Petitioner testified she helped by scraping wallpaper, putting up drywall, cleaning, running errands, and assisting with the plumbing and electrical work. Respondent stated she only ran a few errands.

In January 1985, they purchased a house on Franklin Street located across the alley from the Rutledge house. They purchased this house for $11,000 using a life insurance policy and a portion of respondent's workers' compensation claim as a down payment. Respondent remodeled this house, and he and his parents currently live there. At one time, his parents paid rent of $275 per month, but once respondent moved in, it was lowered to $200 per month.

The appraisers testified concerning the value of the properties. They valued the Rutledge house at $68,000 and $71,000, respectively. It had an outstanding mortgage at that time of approximately $5,000. The Franklin property was valued at $27,500 and $18,000, ...


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