The Trial Court entered an order extending the husband’s maintenance obligation. Husband appealed. The original divorce order had provided that the wife was to receive maintenance for a period of two years. She was authorized to seek an extension of maintenance before the two-year period expired.

The Appellate Court agreed with the Trial Court. It said that the Trial Court was right in not applying the statutory law in effect when the parties’ marriage dissolved. It said that the Trial Court did not abuse its discretion in finding that wife had a continuing need for maintenance.

The original order of maintenance was not “rehabilitative maintenance”. There was no language in the divorce order requiring the wife to “rehabilitate” herself by finding appropriate and meaningful employment.

The courts properly considered the wife’s petition in light of the Dissolution Act as effective on January 1, 2016. Husband contends the trial court erroneously applied the 2015 guidelines in making the award of maintenance to wife permanent. He said the 2012 version of the Dissolution Act applied.

The wife maintains the newer version applies. She emphasizes her petition to extend maintenance was filed in 2016. This was after the new maintenance guidelines had taken effect. She argued that Dissolution Act “applies to all proceedings commenced after its effective date for the modification of a judgment or order entered prior to the effective date of this Act.” This is a statement of the law now.

The wife’s monthly donation (or tithe) to her church was about the same amount as the ordered maintenance. Husband had argued that this violated his freedom of religion. Both courts disagreed. The Trial Court had expressly found that the wife had made these monthly donations during the marriage. This was merely a continuation of that spending.

In re Marriage of Kasprzyk, 2019 IL App (4th) 170838 (April 4, 2019).

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