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In re Marriage of Reynard

December 18, 2003


Appeal from Circuit Court of McLean County No. 01D113 Honorable James R. Glenn, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cook


Petitioner, Mary Anne Reynard, appeals the December 31, 2002, order of the Coles County circuit court dissolving Mary Anne's marriage to respondent, Charles G. Reynard, and awarding Mary Anne maintenance in the amount of $1,600 per month until the first to occur of the following contingencies: (1) the death of either party; (2) Mary Anne's remarriage; (3) Mary Anne's cohabitation with another person on a resident, continuing, conjugal basis; or (4) completion of the January 1, 2013, payment. We affirm.


Mary Anne and Charles were married on January 29, 1969. They had two children: Rachel born in 1977 and Meghan born in 1982. On March 6, 2001, Mary Anne filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. On December 31, 2002, the trial court entered a judgment of dissolution of marriage and an order that addressed maintenance and the division of assets.

Both Mary Anne and Charles earned college degrees. Mary Anne earned her degree in English and took all of the required undergraduate teaching classes. After graduation from college, Mary Anne and Charles accepted teaching positions. Charles also attended law school at night. Upon graduation from law school in May 1974, Charles became a McLean County assistant State's Attorney. The new job required the parties to move from Chicago to Bloomington/Normal, Illinois. Mary Anne, having just been promoted at Wells Recruiting Systems, quit her job and began work in Bloomington/Normal as a Hertz Rent-A-Car clerk and then as a child-care worker in a day-care center.

Mary Anne became a homemaker in 1977 after the birth of the parties' first child, Rachel. In 1978, Charles entered the private practice of law. In 1979, Charles unsuccessfully ran for McLean County State's Attorney. Mary Anne managed Charles's campaign and cared for Rachel. To lend help financially, Mary Anne also became a part-time employee at the Regional Office of Education.

On October 14, 1982, Meghan was born. That same year, Mary Anne began hosting parties in people's homes for the sale of country decorating merchandise. Mary Anne was successful and in one year earned $20,000 gross. She stopped hosting, however, after Meghan entered kindergarten in order to be home every night during the children's school years.

After losing the 1979 election, Charles returned to private practice. In 1987, Charles was appointed as the McLean County State's Attorney. He ran for election in 1988 and for re-election in 1992 and 1996. Mary Anne assisted in all three campaigns by setting appointments, distributing materials, and holding campaign meetings in the home.

Mary Anne testified her responsibilities for the care of the parties' children did not allow for full-time employment. Charles acknowledged that in addition to being his most significant volunteer in political campaigns, Mary Anne was a good mother, helped out family finances through part-time employment, and had stuck with him through difficult times.

At the time of hearing, Meghan was a first-semester sophomore in college. Charles paid between $2,900 and $3,400 per month to Wellesley for Meghan's schooling. This figure does not include other expenses such as medical and travel. Mary Anne was 54 years old and in good health. She did receive psychotherapy and massages for fibromyalgia. Mary Anne worked as the coordinator of volunteers and college interns at the McLean County Museum of History. She began the position in May 1999 and earned $29,819 per year. Prior to this position, Mary Anne had been a part-time special education teaching assistant at University High School for three years and a part-time teaching assistant at Metcalf Lab School for seven years. She never acquired a teaching license in Illinois because it was not required to teach as a special education teaching assistant and was not required in parochial schools. Charles was 56 years old and also in good health. He had recently won an election for circuit court judge of McLean County. His projected earnings were $136,546 per year.

The trial court assigned Mary Anne 52% of the marital assets valued at $346,495. The marital assets Mary Anne received included the parties' marital residence valued at $166,000, a 1999 Honda CR-V, a $1,082 Citizens Savings Bank account, and four Salomon Smith Barney accounts. Mary Anne received $48,404 in non-marital assets, including $11,167 in jewelry and a $37,237 reimbursement from the marital estate for the non-marital contribution Mary Anne made to a Salomon Smith Barney account.

Charles received $319,487 in marital assets, including a home valued at $108,000 with an 80% mortgage remaining, four Salomon Smith Barney accounts, and the parties' marital interest in a condominium lived in by the parties' daughter Rachel. The condo is valued at $107,000 and also has an 80% mortgage. The trial court also awarded Charles a 1996 Ford Windstar and a 2001 Ford Taurus. The Taurus has a car loan for its full $15,000 value. In terms of non-marital property, Charles received quantities of stocks and funds acquired by gift, legacy, or descent from his mother, a $106,771 reimbursement from the marital estate, and $12,906 of non-marital debt in the form of a campaign loan. The court noted Charles has paid nearly all of Meghan's educational expenses to date, and he indicates a willingness to continue making those payments. The court ordered Charles to continue paying Meghan's educational expenses and her car insurance. Finally, the court determined each party is entitled to 50% of the other's retirement benefits to be paid through a QILDRO (qualified Illinois domestic relations order).

When fashioning the maintenance award, the trial court considered the parties' financial-affairs affidavits. Mary Anne's affidavit indicated her average monthly expenses were $4,527. Mary Anne prepared the affidavit on May 24, 2001, averaging her expenses for the prior 12 months, although the parties separated on July 10, 2000, and she filed for divorce on March 6, 2000. The affidavit included many expenses for Meghan, who resided with Mary Anne when she prepared the affidavit. Meghan now lives elsewhere. At hearing, Mary Anne admitted her income had increased since she had prepared the affidavit. Mary Anne also admitted some of her expenses were anticipatory, such as the amounts for replacing appliances, her education, and payments to the Internal Revenue Service. When she prepared the affidavit, Charles was paying all of her household bills, including medical bills and food. The court adjusted Mary Anne's projected expenses for gardening, snow removal, household help, replacement of appliances, food, clothing, psychotherapy, lunch money, vacations, retirement plan, Internal Revenue Service, and America On-Line. The court determined a more realistic estimate of Mary Anne's expenses at the time of hearing was $3,060 per month.

Charles's financial-affairs affidavit indicates his monthly net income from all sources, including interest and dividend payments is $7,973. His total average monthly expenses are $8,542.38, including ...

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