The trial court had found that wife was in need of assistance but declined to make a permanent award of maintenance so that wife would be encouraged to become self-sufficient. During one of the hearings, the trial court explicitly stated that it was not awarding permanent maintenance because such an award would eliminate any incentive for wife to pursue the long-term options available to her to improve her ability to support herself.

Husband had also argued that the trial court’s decision was based on unlawful considerations. Husband argued that the trial court had no lawful reason to consider that wife no longer owned a home or that she had been awarded only 15% of Husband’s pension during the division of the marital property. The appellate court did not agree with husband.

Also, the appellate court agreed that wife had used reasonable diligence to find employment. Although husband argued that wife should have been able to obtain a higher paying job at a public school, this was mere speculation.

Wife only had limited occupational skills.  She had not had the opportunity to cultivate these skills during the marriage. The appellate court agreed with the trial court that wife had used reasonable diligence in seeking employment.

IRMO Connors, 303 IllApp3d 219

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