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Marriage Law | Divorce

Supreme Court Allows Modification of Separation Agreement to Increase Maintenance

In re: Marriage of Sutton, marriage law case 136 Ill.2d 441 (1990). Lou Benassi represented a wife seeking an increase in maintenance. The trial court denied the requested increase and held that the separation agreement signed by the wife and the husband included language providing that maintenance could not be modified. The Illinois Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the trial court, finding that the statute which precluded modification of maintenance after the parties had agreed to preclude future modification did not apply to situations in which the parties marriage was not dissolved. Based on this ruling, Mr. Benassi on behalf of his client sought and obtained an increase in maintenance.

Successful Settlement Nets Client $9,500 Monthly Maintenance

Lou Benassi recently settled a 2-year divorce proceeding in which he represented the wife. The couple had been married for more than 30 years, during which time the wife was a homemaker. The husband was a partner in a successful professional practice, and the couple's assets included several pieces of real estate and a large 401(k). Mr. Benassi was able to secure maintenance payments of $9,500 per month and a significant portion of the couple's assets for his client.

Court Limits Amount and Length of Maintenance To Be Paid

Clark v. Clark, 237 Ill.App.3d 492 (3rd Dist.,1992). Lou Benassi represented the husband. The parties, who had been married in excess of 30 years, entered into a marital settlement agreement that provided $1,100 per month maintenance for the ex-wife for 36 months. Following this period, the ex-wife petitioned Court to award permanent maintenance and to increase the monthly amount of maintenance. The trial court awarded maintenance of $750 per month for 12 months after which maintenance was to wholly terminate. The Appellate Court affirmed the trial court.

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If you need an experienced Peoria, Illinois attorney to handle your family law issue, please contact Benassi & Benassi. Our attorneys handle cases for clients throughout the state of Illinois; however our practice is based primarily in central Illinois including the cities of Peoria, Eureka, Champaign, Bloomington-Normal, Pekin, Springfield, Rock Island, and surrounding areas.

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