The parties returned to court 61 months after the divorce. Wife had received maintenance for five years.

The court needed to conduct a general review of maintenance. This had been provided for in the divorce decree.

The Court reduced the unallocated maintenance. This is a combined payment of child support and maintenance. But, wife’s standard of living had been continuing to decline. Vocational experts testified to wife’s limited ability to support herself after re-entering the full time job market as an immigration attorney in her 50’s.

Husband said he was able to pay even after paying the children’s college educational expenses. The Appellate Court said that the Trial Court had acted against the manifest weight of the evidence. Also, the trial court lacked the authority to make the maintenance award nonreviewable or nonmodifiable on its own. The parties can agree to make it nonmodifiable or nonreviewable. The Court can’t just do it on its own.

All awards of periodic maintenance are modifiable or reviewable. The Appellate Court reversed. It sent the case back to the Trial Court for modification.

In re Marriage of Blum, No. 2-06-0235 (2ND Dist.)

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