In divorce court Wife originally got a large amount of maintenance. This was to last until Husband retired. He was a doctor. Wife appealed.
The Appellate Court said the trial court had decided the case right. Wife had not managed the maintenance she had gotten. She had not prepared for Husband’s retirement. She had not prepared at all for her maintenance to stop when he retired.
Wife also had asked that Husband pay her attorney fees. She had fought to continue her maintenance. The courts both said that she was not entitled to have him pay her attorney fees. She had spent a lot of money to continue maintenance. But, she had not changed the mind of either the trial or appellate court.
The Divorce Act has a purpose. It is to make the division of property the primary means of providing for the future needs of both parties. Wife was awarded $1.7 million in property. That property has dwindled as a result of her choices. She continued operating the Club at a loss. She could have pursued activities that would give her an income. She also did not keep up with the property taxes on her various properties.
For nearly ten years, Wife was receiving annual maintenance payments in six figures. It was well over a million dollars. It could have been used to prepare for her retirement. Wife’s current situation is the product of her own financial mismanagement and choice.
This amounts to a very comfortable “life jacket.” She elected to throw off her life jacket and ride a sinking ship into the deepest abyss in the sea.
Husband used the assets awarded him wisely. Wife did not. Husband cannot be held to account for Wife’s business failures 20 years after the divorce.
IRMO Virdi, 2014 IL App. (3d) 130561.