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05/26/89 In Re Marriage of Stephanie L. Dodge

May 26, 1989

IN RE MARRIAGE OF STEPHANIE L. DODGE, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

and JOHN M. DODGE, Respondent-Appellant

540 N.E.2d 440, 184 Ill. App. 3d 495, 132 Ill. Dec. 700 1989.IL.811

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Howard R. Kaufman, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LORENZ delivered the opinion of the court. MURRAY, P.J., and PINCHAM, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LORENZ

This appeal follows a contested trial for dissolution of marriage. Respondent, John M. Dodge (John), contends the trial court abused its discretion regarding three aspects of the judgment: determination of the amount, duration, and period of review of a maintenance award to respondent, Stephanie L. Dodge (Stephanie); the requirement that John pay $184,000 to Stephanie as her share of John's profit sharing plan; and the award of $10,000 in attorney fees and costs to Stephanie.

We affirm.

John and Stephanie were married in 1961. At the time of trial in May 1987, John was 49 years old and Stephanie was 46 years old. The Dodges had two children: a son, age 24, then emancipated and living out of State, and a daughter, age 22, then a senior at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Summarized below are facts pertinent to the Disposition of the issues raised on appeal.

SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE

Since 1961, John was employed with Commerce Clearing House and, at the time of trial, was an assistant vice-president. The parties stipulated that in 1986, John earned $75,503.89 in gross salary and was awarded a year-end bonus of $11,500, receipt of which he elected to defer to 1987. Had he not deferred receipt of the bonus, John's total income from CCH for 1986 would total $87,033.89. John stated he regularly received bonuses in December from CCH in addition to his yearly salary. John lived in a newly constructed, mortgage-free townhouse, which he purchased in 1985.

At trial, Stephanie testified she had briefly worked part-time in an obstetrician's office and as a dental assistant. In 1975, she began part-time work at the Deerfield Public Library. She later worked at the Northbrook Public Library and began working full time there in 1980. She received $14,623.60 and $15,737.12 in compensation for years 1985 and 1986, respectively. Stephanie had recently accepted a job offer with the American Library Association as assistant to the director in the children's division. Stephanie was to begin in May 1987 at an annual salary of $18,000. The salary range for that position was $17,000 to $24,000.

Stephanie testified that her educational background included attending one year of college prior to her marriage, several continuing education courses, and seminars in conjunction with her library job.

Stephanie resided alone in the marital home in Deerfield where the couple had lived for 18 years. She testified that her daughter occasionally spent weekends there and that, following graduation from college, her daughter would live with her. Her son also occasionally visited over weekends.

Stephanie stated that the house was approximately 30 years old. Various repairs were needed, including minor plumbing work and repair of a hole in the kitchen floor. The home had not been recarpeted since purchase. The kitchen stove and oven as well as the washer and dryer were 18 years old. The dishwasher and garbage disposal were eight years old. A new refrigerator was installed in 1984.

A budget, containing projected monthly expenses, was offered into evidence upon John's counsel's stipulation that Stephanie would establish the amounts and items listed therein. The expenses totaled $4,245. John's counsel questioned Stephanie about various projections.

With reference to the marital home, the budget contained a projection of $325 per month for appliances and home maintenance. Stephanie admitted that she had not obtained any estimates for plumbing work or painting. She also admitted that an ...


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