APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE GRACE DICKLER, JUDGE PRESIDING.
As Corrected May 6, 1996.
Presiding Justice Campbell delivered the opinion of the court: Braden, J., concurs. Wolfson, J., specially concurs.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Campbell
PRESIDING JUSTICE CAMPBELL delivered the opinion of the court:
Petitioner, James Pace (James), appeals from a judgment of dissolution of his marriage to respondent, Marlene Pace (Marlene), entered by the circuit court of Cook County. On appeal, James contends that the trial court erred in determining that his personal injury settlement monies are marital property and awarding Marlene 25% of such monies. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
The record reveals the following relevant facts. James and Marlene were married on June 12, 1971. Three children were born of the marriage; two are emancipated and one is a minor. James was employed as a laborer for Flying Tiger Airlines beginning in 1973. On December 2, 1982, James was involved in a catastrophic accident at work, wherein his leg was severed. James' leg was reattached, however, as a result of severe pain, his leg was eventually amputated in 1987. As a result of the accident, James underwent at least five operations, and continues to suffer pain in his legs and shoulders. In addition, James suffers phantom pains in the amputated leg area, arthritis, and diabetes. James ceased employment in 1989.
Marlene worked outside the marital home throughout the marriage earning minimum wages. Marlene is currently unemployed, and is in fair health. At the time of dissolution, she had completed 1 1/2 years of college.
The parties separated in June 1989, when James moved out of the marital home.
James filed certain personal injury lawsuits as a result of his accident. The cases ultimately settled in November 1991, for approximately $2,000,000. *fn1 Following deduction of attorney fees, James was awarded $6,100 per month, tax free for life, with 240 payments guaranteed, beginning December 1, 1991. Additionally, James was guaranteed the following disbursements:
$50,000 payable November 1, 1996;
$50,000 payable November 1, 2001;
$75,000 payable November 1, 2006; and $126,512 payable November 1, 2011.
The trial court determined that James' personal injury settlement constituted marital property, and awarded 25% of the settlement monies to Marlene. It is this portion of the judgment of dissolution that James timely appeals.
On appeal, James contends that the trial court erred in determining that his personal injury settlement monies are marital property, and in awarding 25% of such monies to Marlene. James urges this court to adopt the "analytical approach" used in jurisdictions other than Illinois to conclude that his settlement ...