The Trial Court entered an order extending maintenance wife until husband, a pilot, retires.  The Trial Court also refused to award permanent maintenance.

Wife did not seek employment for 2 1/2 years after the divorce, but she was never informed that she had a duty to seek training or education to continue receiving maintenance.   Wife appealed.

The Appellate Court found that the 2012 version of Section 504 applied when the judgment of dissolution was entered, which was prior to the effective date of the guideline version.   It further found that the Trial Court did not abuse its discretion in failing to apply the Section 504 guidelines in its review of the maintenance award. 

We again emphasize that the present matter arose on review of the maintenance award. A review proceeding results from a court order that specifically provides for review of that order.  Where there is no provision for review, a motion to reconsider maintenance initiates a modification proceeding rather than a review proceeding.  In a modification proceeding, maintenance will not be altered absent proof of a substantial change in circumstances.   Proof of a change in circumstances is not required in a review proceeding.    

The Trial Court did not abuse its discretion in denying wife’s petition to increase maintenance which was in substance an argument that the maintenance award was not fair to her. The fact that husband now earns a salary much greater than during the marriage is not determinative of the petition to increase maintenance.

In re Marriage of Brunke, 2019 IL App (2d) 190201 (December 24, 2019) Kane Co.

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