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Father Obtains Custody of 8 Year old Son after Mother Interferes with our Client, the Father's Visitation and Wrongfully Removes Child to Florida In re Marriage of Gibbs, 268 Ill.App.3d 962, 268 Ill.App.3d 962
Father [our client] and custody Mother were separated when their only son was 15 months old and they divorced when he was four years old. Although Father consistently exercised visitation with his son, Mother had a history of attempting to restrict Father's visitation through various Court actions aimed to "frustrate" our client's visitation.
Finally, Mother relocated their son to the state of Florida, and then filed a petition asking for permission to remove his residence to Florida permanently. In addition, Mother filed a Petition to suspend our client, the Father's visitation with his son.
We represented the Father throughout the case: at the trial regarding the wrongful removal of his son to Florida by the Mother and the Appeal filed by the Mother to the Appellate Court that followed. After a full trial consisting of 14 separate trial dates, we won the trial and Mother was ordered to return our client's son to Illinois. When she refused to do so, we succeeded in presenting a petition to hold the mother in contempt of court, and she was ordered to Cook County Jail until she returned the boy to Illinois. Although this order was reversed in the Appellate Court where we also represented the father, nonetheless, the son was ordered returned to Illinois. Upon the return of his son to Illinois, we fought to obtain custody for the father, and our client, the Father, received custody of his son and the Mother visitation.
The Father, Dennis (our client) and Mother (Freddy) were married October 16, 1982 and had a daughter, Katie a year later. They separated in 1988. While still married the Father began dating and had a child by another women. The Mother filed for divorce in 1989 and the Father asked for custody of their daughter, who was then 7 years old. The Trial Judge found that our client, the Father was guilty of “onerous adultery” and denied him Custody of his daughter and restricted his visitation as well. In Re Marriage of Olson.
We represented the Father in his Appeal to the Appellate Court and successfully overturned the Trial Judges decision. On Appeal the Court recognized that their daughter was a “very mature 7 year old” and that her preference for who would be her parent should be recognized. The Illinois Divorce Judge failed to examine the maturity of that opinion and its underlying reasoning. The 7 years old statements both in and out of court should have been given more serious consideration by the trial court.
If you are going through a divorce in Illinois where maintenance or spousal support may be ordered you should be aware of the New Maintenance Law that took effect January 1, 2015.
The New Maintenance Statute in Illinois offers Unique Opportunities for Creative and Effective Financial Settlements.
In a recent contested Illinois Divorce case we were able to successfully settle a hotly contested and what would otherwise have been a prolonged divorce for our Client, the Husband.
After the divorce, Husband failed to provide proof of all his income to Wife as required under the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, including, but not limited to, stock options awarded and exercised after the divorce. The end result was Wife was awarded a substantial sum of additional maintenance. The ex-Husband did not disclose the income awarded from those exercised stock options based on his claim such income was his non-marital property that Wife was not entitled to.
Under the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, the Wife was entitled to maintenance based on Husband’s earnings at the time of the divorce plus 30% of any additional net earned income of Husband. The ex-Husband had been paying Wife what he calculated to be his net earned income for several years.
We fought for the Wife and won for her a property settlement that included real estate and cash of $2,053,029. After the Divorce Judgment was entered the Husband delayed payment to our client of her cash settlement. We successfully argued that the ex-husband was doing what many ex-husbands do. His object was to delay the payment in order to gamble with her money hoping the market going up.
If the market went up after a long delay the Husband would simply pay the amount specified of $2,053,029 and keep the increase in value of the Wife’s interest that the cash earned.
At the divorce trial, the Wife's divorce lawyer claimed that the Husband had a 25% interest in a commercial building in Chicago. She obtained a Real estate appraisal to back up her claim of $3,550,000. Husbands 25% marital interest, she says is worth: $877,550.
She argues that the marital portion of the commercial Real estate is worth $877,550 and demands half of the Husband's interest as her share of this marital property in their divorce. The Husband's lawyer did not dispute the Wife's claim of marital value of this asset.
The Husband interviews with Martoccio & Martoccio and asks if there's anything we can do to help. We review the case and tell him there is a way.
“Dennis next argues that the trial court's award of attorney fees failed to meet the requirements of section 508 and was unsupported by the evidence. (111. Rev. Stat, 1991, ch. 40, par, 508.) At the conclusion of the custody trial, the trial court granted Freddy's fee petition in its entirety. After a request for a hearing on attorney fees, this ruling was retracted and the matter was set for hearing. Petitioner first called Theodore Kuzniar as an expert witness en the matter of attorney fees. Kusiniar, an attorney with a concentration in family law, testified that the $27,919.66 fee charged by Freddy's attorney was customary and reasonable. The Court subsequently ordered Freddy to pay $16,501 of Schwarz* fees and ordered Dennis to pay $10,000 of those fees. Finance charges were deducted from the amount allocated to Freddy.
The allowance of attorney fees in divorce proceedings rests within the sound discretion of the trial court. (In re Marriage of Brophy (1981), 96 111. App. 3d 1108, 1117.) We will not reverse such an award on appeal unless the trial court abused its discretion. (Brophy, 96 111. App. 3d at 1117.) According to Brophy, the financial position of the parties, the skill and standing of the attorneys employed, the importance, novelty and difficulty of the questions raised, the degree of responsibility involved from a management perspective/ the time and labor required, the usual and customary charge in the community and the benefits resulting to the client/ are all factors to be considered in determining an attorney fee award. (Brophy, 96 111. App. 3d at 1118.) In addition, the matter of fixing fees is oneof the few areas in which the trial judge may rely on the pleadings or affidavits on file and its own experience. (Brophy) In our view, the trial court below abused its discretion because it did not adequately consider these factors in ruling on attorney fees.
Ex Husband was Director of International Sales for a major manufacturing company, and earned $163,850 per year. Rather than take only his word, for his earnings to determine the amount of child support and his contribution to college expenses of one of the parties daughters, we had him produce records to verify his income. Sure enough his records showed the Ex Husband was earning $163,850. We also served a subpoena to his employer, once again the records confirmed $163,850 yearly.
Although it seemed to to be repetitious, the question of Ex Husband’s income just didn’t feel right since his lawyer continuously delayed the case for over a year with no apparent reason.
Sensing that something was not quite right although it was only several days to the trial, we served a second subpoena on the Ex Husbands employer just for completeness.