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06/28/96 MARRIAGE LORRIE JANE MARX

June 28, 1996

IN RE: THE MARRIAGE OF LORRIE JANE MARX, PETITIONER-APPELLEE, AND MARTIN WILLIAM MARX, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.


Appeal from Circuit Court of Douglas County. No. 92D32. Honorable Arthur Powers, Jr., Judge Presiding.

As Corrected August 29, 1996.

Honorable Robert W. Cook, P.j., Honorable Robert J. Steigmann, J., Honorable James A. Knecht, J., Concurring. Presiding Justice Cook delivered the opinion of the court:

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cook

PRESIDING JUSTICE COOK delivered the opinion of the court:

Respondent Martin Marx appeals the supplemental dissolution judgment, arguing the trial court erred where it (1) made no findings of fact in ruling on the property issues, and (2) abused its discretion in the distribution by failing to consider whether his nonmarital estate should be reimbursed for the $20,000 used as a down payment on the parties' house. In reply to Martin's arguments, Lorrie makes a release-of-errors argument concerning Martin's alleged acceptance of the benefits of the decree and his subsequent attack on the unfavorable parts of the decree. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

Lorrie Gifford and Martin Marx were married in December 1984. They have two children. The parties separated in April 1992. The marriage was dissolved in February 1993. A "SUPPLEMENTAL JUDGMENT OF DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE (ANCILLARY MATTERS)" was entered in September 1995.

Lorrie is a nurse. At the time of dissolution, she was earning over $35,000 annually. Martin is a high school teacher. At the time of dissolution he was earning approximately $27,000 annually.

Before the marriage, in July 1984, the parties bought a house. The purchase price was $49,500. The parties obtained a mortgage from a bank in the amount of $24,000. In addition, Martin received $20,000 from his father, which was applied to the purchase. Currently the house is valued at $49,000.

Other property subject to this appeal includes a large collection of "Precious Moments" statues (some of which belonged to Lorrie prior to marriage), pension accounts, two cars, Lorrie's craft business and its supplies, household furniture, and the parties' federal income tax refund.

When the parties separated, Lorrie testified she had to move from the house. Martin, however, remained there and continued to have the sole use of the parties' personal property. Lorrie first stayed with friends, then rented a house. She had to expend funds on furnishing it, and, because she apparently had no access to her former residence, had to buy appliances, children's toys, and even replacement clothing.

On August 8, 1994, both parties filed written closing arguments. The trial judge resolved the issues as Lorrie's argument suggested, and this appeal followed.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Release of ...


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