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07/26/96 MARRIAGE NANCY E. KOCHER

July 26, 1996

IN RE: THE MARRIAGE OF NANCY E. KOCHER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, AND NORMAN A. KOCHER, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.


Appeal from Circuit Court of Macon County. No. 93D707. Honorable John L. Davis, Judge Presiding.

Released for Publication August 27, 1996. As Corrected August 30, 1996.

Honorable Robert J. Steigmann, J., Honorable Robert W. Cook, P.j., Honorable John T. McCULLOUGH, J., Concurring. Justice Steigmann delivered the opinion of the court:

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Steigmann

JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the opinion of the court:

In June 1994, the trial court entered a judgment dissolving the marriage of plaintiff, Nancy E. Kocher, and defendant, Norman A. Kocher, and awarding Nancy permanent maintenance. In January 1996, Norman filed a petition to terminate maintenance, and in February 1996, the court granted his petition. Nancy appeals, arguing that (1) the trial court erred as a matter of law by terminating maintenance when (a) it heard no evidence regarding the standard of living established during the marriage, and (b) it failed to consider relevant statutory factors; and (2) even if the court considered relevant statutory factors, it abused its discretion by granting the petition to terminate maintenance. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

Nancy, 51 years old at the outset of these proceedings, and Norman, 63 years old, married in September 1964. Their marriage ended in June 1994, after 29 years. In its June 1994 judgment of dissolution, the trial court awarded Nancy $200 per month in permanent maintenance.

In January 1996, Norman filed a petition to terminate maintenance pursuant to section 510(a) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Act) (750 ILCS 5/510(a) (West 1994)), alleging "a material change in circumstances *** in that [Nancy] has now obtained full-time employment ***; she is self-supporting, and her income exceeds the income of [Norman]." After a February 1996 hearing, the trial court granted Norman's petition.

II. THE PARTIES' STANDARD OF LIVING DURING

THE MARRIAGE

Nancy first argues that the trial court erred when it granted Norman's petition to terminate maintenance without requiring Norman to present evidence regarding the parties' standard of living established during their marriage. We disagree.

Nancy correctly points out that the standard of living established during her marriage with Norman is a factor which the trial court must consider in deciding whether to modify or terminate maintenance. 750 ILCS 5/504(a)(6) (West 1994); In re Marriage of Carpel, 232 Ill. App. 3d 806, 828, 597 N.E.2d 847, 863, 173 Ill. Dec. 873 (1992). In In re Marriage of Hucker, 259 Ill. App. 3d 551, 555, 631 N.E.2d 299, 302, 197 Ill. Dec. 296 (1994), this court held that the factors set forth in section 504(b) of the Act that a trial court must consider when deciding whether to order maintenance--and if so, how much--similarly apply to petitions brought under section 510(a) of the Act, seeking to modify or terminate maintenance.

A. The Financial Affidavits

The party petitioning for a change in maintenance should be allowed to offer testimony regarding how the parties lived during their marriage. See Carpel, 232 Ill. App. 3d at 831, 597 N.E.2d at 865. However, that party is not required to present such testimony if the trial court already has evidence ...


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