Appellate Law Update for April 2019: Maintenance in Chicago Divorce

There are two recent cases that are to be noted in the Chicago divorce arena as it relates to maintenance, which is also known as alimony and spousal support. On April 17, 2019 Justice O’Brien (with Lytton concurring and Schmidt dissenting) denied ex-husband’s petition to modify or terminate maintenance and granted ex-wife’s motion to modify maintenance. Court increased ex-husband’s obligation based on its calculation of his income. Court should not have used amended guidelines (formula in Section 504(b-1)(1) of Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and remanded for determination of maintenance in an amount based on factors in section 504(a)). The Court did not abuse its discretion in determining ex-husband’s monthly income to include inheritances he received and the financial opportunities those assets provided him. Order of permanent maintenance to ex-wife is warranted under factors considered by trial court, including that she is unlikely to earn more income than presently earning, and that she cannot afford to purchase health insurance. In Re: Marriage of Kuper Case Number: 2019 IL App (3d) 180094 On April 29, 2019 Justice O’Brien (with Carter and McDade concurring) considered that the Respondent filed a petition to terminate maintenance, alleging that his former spouse of 17 years was cohabitating with her boyfriend. Court properly denied petition, as ex-wife was not in a resident, continuing conjugal relationship with him. They were in an intimate dating relationship that lacked the permanence of a de facto marriage; they did not share finances or commingle the daily aspects of their lives. Court did not err in awarding permanent maintenance of $10,000 per month, as Respondent had a regular and ongoing opportunity to earn income, but ex-wife’s prospects were limited and would not be sufficient to maintain her lifestyle during marriage. In Re: Marriage of Churchill Case Number: 2019 IL App (3d) 180208 Reach out to the Chicago Divorce Lawyers of to get the legal advice and guidance you need. #chicagodivorce #maintenance #alimony #support #spousalsupport #inheritance #income #petitiontoterminate #modification


Jennifer R. Ward has exclusively practiced in the matrimonial and family law field for nearly 20 years. Furthermore, Ms. Ward is Adjunct Faculty at the John Marshall Law School teaching family law legal drafting to law students and has done so since 2005.

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