• Family Law Cases
  • October 11, 2012
  • Law Firm: Madera Law Offices LLC - Chicago Office
  • Life Insurance:

    • In Turner, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering the father to maintain a life insurance policy for the benefit of his child; no finding of special circumstances is necessary to support such an order.  Janssen ex rel. Janssen v. Turner, 292 Ill.App.3d 219, 226 Ill.Dec. 202, 685 N.E.2d 16 (4th Dist. 1997).

    Day Care:

    • In Serna, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in dividing day care costs evenly between parents in addition to awarding child support.  In re Serna, 172 Ill. App. 3d 1051, 123 Ill. Dec. 164, 527 N.E. 627 (4th Dist. 1988).

    Tax Dependent:

    • In dissolution proceedings, the trial court has authority to allocate the dependency tax exemption to the noncustodial spouse and to the order the custodial parent to sign a declaration for the purposes of the Internal Revenue Service that he or she will not claim the exemption.  In re Marriage of Rogiliano, 198 Ill. App. 3d 404, 415, 144 Ill. Dec. 595, 599 555 N.E.2d 847 (5th Dist. 1974).
    • In Rogiliano, the Appellate Court believed under the circumstances that the trial court erred in awarding the dependency tax exemption to Wife.  198 Ill. App. 3d at 415.  The State court, not the Internal Revenue Service, is the appropriate forum for allocating the dependency tax exemption, in conjunction with determining the other issues involved in the dissolution of marriage and the court should make the allocation based on which parent will be contributing the majority of the child’s support.  Therefore the trial court’s judgment awarding the custodial mother the exemption was modified to award the exemption to father since the record showed that he would be contributing to the majority of the support to the child.  Id. at 415-16. 


    • A trial court must hold a hearing on the issue of restricted visitation and should grant restricted visitation only after making the extraordinary finding that visitation would seriously endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health.  Heldebrant v. Heldebrant, 251 Ill. App. 3d 950, 957, 623 N.E.2d 780, 191 Ill. Dec. 190 (Fourth Dist. 1993).  The serious endangerment standard contained in section 607(c) of the Act is “onerous, stringent, and rigorous” to meet because liberal visitation is the rule and restricted visitation is the exception.  Heldebrant, 251 Ill. App. 3d at 957.  The custodial parent carries the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that visitation with the non-custodial parent would seriously endanger the child.  Use of the best interests standard, rather than the serious endangerment standard, constitutes reversible error.  Id.
    • In Parentage of J.W., Petitioner bore no initial burden of proof, and GAL’s concerns that child did not know that Petitioner was her biological father and starting visitation would place child at risk of harm academically, socially, and emotionally does not constitute evidence showing that visitation would seriously endanger child’s health.  In Re Parentage of J.W., 2012 IL App (4th) 120212. 
    • The best interest of the child is normally fostered by having a healthy and close relationship with both parents.  In re the Marriage of Brophy, 421 N.E.2d 1308, 1311 (1981).


    • Dissipation does not occur where a spouse uses marital funds for necessary, appropriate and legitimate living expenses as long as those expenditures are not so selfish and excessive that it constitutes an outright waste of marital funds.  In Re Marriage of Carter, 317 Ill.App.3d 546, 551-52, 740 N.E.2d 82, 86, (2000).  
    • Though the First District Appellate Court found that the expenditures related to the paramour were all dissipation, the court found purchase of the condominium for $1,629,000 and $100,000 to $200,000 upgrades and furnishings to the condominium was not dissipation, including, the thousands of dollars on clothes and meals since Husband was maintaining the lifestyle which he was accustomed.  In Re Marriage of Morrison, 2006 WL 4513810 (Ill.App.1st Dist.).  Husband admitted that he had a dating relationship with a paramour for at least one year prior to the filing of the dissolution of marriage action.  Husband admitted he purchased gifts, including $15,000 Cartier watch for his paramour and he took her on trips. 
    • The Second District Appellate Court affirmed that the trip to Europe was a dissipation of marital property because the husband objected to this expenditure.  In Re Marriage of Ryman, 527, N.E.2d 18, 172 Ill.App.3d 599 (2nd Dist. 1988).  Two months prior to the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, wife used $3,500.00 in marital savings for a European trip with her son.   Additionally, the wife purchased a car for herself during this same time period. 
    • The Second District Appellate Court found that wife’s tithing of $16,438.54 to the Mormon Church at a time during which the marriage was undergoing a breakdown constituted dissipation.  In Re Marriage of Cerven, 742 N.E.2d (2nd Dist. 2000).
    • The Second District Appellate Court found that the repayment of $44,000 was a gift and not a payment on the loan.  In Re Marriage of Toole, 273 Ill.App.3d 607, 653 N.E.2d 456 (2nd Dist. 1995).  The repayment of a “debt” was found to be dissipation of marital property.  In 1972, husband and wife signed a promissory note to the husband’s father “to improve the father’s financial statements in connection with the business”.  The promissory note related back in time to the construction of the husband’s and wife’s home in 1971.  During the marriage the husband’s father never requested repayment for the debt prior to the commencement of the divorce proceedings.  However, after the separation of the parties in 1990, the husband paid $44,000 to his father as repayment of the loan. 
    • The Fifth District Appellate Court affirmed the trial court that in determining that the difference between the purchase of the automobile and the value of the vehicle at the time of trial was dissipation.  In Re Marriage of Jerome v. Martinez, 255 Ill.App3d 374, 625 N.E.2d 1195 (5th Dist. 1994).  Husband testified that, after the separation, he was ill and barely able to get out of bed except to go to bathroom.  However, during his illness, he managed to go to the bank and withdraw $17,286.48 in savings, buy a new automobile, which was his third, for approximately $9,000 and spent $9,000 in savings as well as $4,000 of his individual income. 
    • The Fifth District Appellate Court found that the husband’s purchase of a 1995 Cruisers Rogue boat for $41,450 constituted a dissipation of marital property.  In Re Marriage of Hubbs, 843 N.E. 2d 478 (5th Dist. 2006).  Wife had been on the boat between two and five times and she could not operate the boat.  Husband’s female companion had been on the boat on a much more regular basis than wife.