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10/02/89 In Re Marriage of Frank R. Getautas

October 2, 1989



and DOROTHY A. GETAUTAS, Respondent-Appellee

544 N.E.2d 1284, 189 Ill. App. 3d 148, 136 Ill. Dec. 509 1989.IL.1591

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. Maryellen Provenzale, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE INGLIS delivered the opinion of the court. REINHARD and McLAREN, JJ., concur.


Petitioner, Frank R. Getautas (Frank), appeals from a final order entered by the trial court dissolving his marriage to respondent, Dorothy A. Getautas (Dorothy). On appeal, Frank contends that the trial court erred in finding that (1) no dissipation of marital assets occurred; (2) Frank owed a child support arrearage of $717.39; and (3) Dorothy was entitled to maintenance of $350 per month for three years. We affirm in part and vacate in part.

As the parties are familiar with the procedural history of this case and the voluminous exhibits admitted at trial, we need only set forth that evidence pertinent to resolving each of the issues raised.

Frank and Dorothy Getautas were married in 1968. During their marriage, they had three children, all of whom were emancipated at the time of trial. Although married for 20 years, both parties agree that the marriage was a troubled one. Within the first 10 years of the marriage, Dorothy filed two petitions to dissolve the marriage. The first was filed in 1973 or 1974, and the second in 1977. She voluntarily dismissed both petitions.

In 1977, Dorothy went to work part time as a clerk in a hospital. A few years later, she began working full time at the hospital and has continued to do so at various hospitals, except for a period of time while she was laid off in 1984. In addition to her work at the hospital, Dorothy began working for Frank's business in 1984 without pay. While working for him, her duties included opening the mail, receiving business checks, and making bank deposits on behalf of the business.

Frank has been employed at G & E Instruments, Inc. , since 1979. G & E is a close corporation engaged in the resale of industrial control instruments. Frank is the corporation's sole stockholder. While his income varies depending on the success of the business, the testimony revealed that he took home an estimated $2,000 a month during the marriage.

From the time they were married, Frank handled the financial affairs of the family penuriously. However, in 1981, Dorothy took over the family finances. Subsequently, the lifestyle of the family changed. Dorothy had a number of major improvements made to the marital residence; the children were enrolled in one of the best and most expensive private high schools in the area; gardeners and household help were employed; the children had orthodontia and dental surgeries; and the parties vacationed extensively.

Throughout the marriage there had been periods where the parties separated; however, they had always reconciled. In February 1986, after an argument with Frank, Dorothy left the marital residence and went to live with her family in Minnesota. Frank alleged that it was during this separation that he first discovered financial irregularities in their marital assets and in the accounts receivable at G & E. Frank testified that when he confronted Dorothy with the irregularities she gave no explanation as to where the money had been spent.

At Frank's request, Dorothy returned to the marital home in July 1986. Frank filed for dissolution in December 1986, and Dorothy moved out of the marital residence the following year. The parties executed a written waiver of the two-year separation requirement contained in section 401 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 40, par. 401(2)). At an uncontested hearing in August 1988, the trial court found grounds for dissolution based upon irreconcilable differences.

A lengthy trial then ensued regarding the issue of property distribution. The trial court found that the marital property of the parties consisted of the following: (1) the marital residence in Naperville; (2) G & E Instruments, Inc.; (3) a 1981 Audi automobile; (4) a 1984 Trans Am Pontiac automobile; and (5) various household furnishings in the marital home. Further, the court found that Frank owned the following non-marital property: (1) $8,500 worth of stock which he had to sell in February 1986 to pay for bills and expenses of the parties ...

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