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In re Marriage of Didier

December 26, 2000

IN RE MARRIAGE OF
GAIL W. DIDIER, PETITIONER-APPELLEE AND CROSS-APPELLANT, AND MARTIN W. DIDIER, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT AND CROSS-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 97 D 613. The Honorable Patricia Banks, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cohen.

After trial on his wife's petition for dissolution of marriage, respondent Martin W. Didier (Martin) appeals the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County. Martin asserts that the trial court erred in (1) classifying certain property as non-marital and awarding that property to petitioner Gail A. Didier (Gail), and (2) awarding Martin inadequate maintenance. Gail cross-appeals, claiming that the trial court erred in (1) awarding Martin any maintenance "whatsoever," (2) finding that certain funds that Gail transferred into Martin's business were a gift rather than a loan, and (3) relieving Martin of all child support obligations. We affirm in part, reverse in part and remand.

Martin Didier and Gail Adreani were married on February 14, 1976, in Chicago, Illinois. The couple had three children: Ryan, born May 3, 1980; Kelly, born May 22, 1982, and Kari, born April 26, 1985. At the time of their marriage, both Martin and Gail worked outside the home. Gail stopped working when their first child was born in 1980. Both before and during the marriage, Gail acquired substantial corporate and partnership interests that provided investment income ranging from $600,000 to $850,000 per year. Gail's income was used to support the family, including Martin. Martin was employed by a succession of different corporations between 1976 and 1990. Martin's highest W-2 income for any given year during this period was approximately $35,000. As of 1990, Martin became self-employed.

The parties were in agreement as to several issues related to the dissolution and stipulated to the following facts before the trial court:

1. Gail is a mother and homemaker and works part-time for McDonald's. Gail resides at 4161 Terri-Lyn Lane, Northbrook, Illinois, with the parties' three children.

2. Martin is self-employed through Integration Technologies, Inc. (ITI), a subchapter "S" corporation incorporated by Martin in 1990.

3. Martin received as a gift from Gail's family 3.743%, or 5,600 shares, of capital stock in North Pier Terminal, Ltd., a closely held corporation. This stock is Martin's non-marital property and should be assigned to him.

4. Gail received as a gift from her family 3.743%, or 5,600 shares, of capital stock in North Pier Terminal, Ltd. This stock is Gail's non-marital property and should be assigned to her.

5. In addition to her North Pier Terminal, Ltd., stock, Gail owns the following corporate and partnership interests:

Name % Interest # of Shares Date(s) Acquired

National Terminals Corp. 19.091353 38,484.4 08-21-89 - 04-02-97

Norridge Development Corp. 10 100 12-08-92

Courts of Amber Woods, Inc. 10 100 08-21-89

Norwood Builders, Inc. 20 20 03-01-89

Norwood Plaza, Inc. 20 500 08-25-89

Adreani Farms (partnership) 20 n/a 1974

Adreani Buildings (partnership) 20 n/a 1983

1.The parties acquired the following vehicles during the marriage:

1.1998 Ford Explorer

2. 1991 Ford Explorer

2.1990 Ford Taurus

3.1999 Toyota ...


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