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Blumenthal v. Brewer

Illinois Supreme Court
69 N.E. 3d 834 (2016)


Facts

Dr. Jane Blumenthal (plaintiff) and Judge Eileen Brewer (defendant) had a long-term, domestic relationship but were not married. The couple commingled their assets, including Brewer’s contribution to help Blumenthal purchase the ownership interest in her medical practice. Blumenthal’s subsequent income from the practice enabled Brewer to focus on raising the couple’s children at the expense of her earning potential. When the relationship ended, Blumenthal moved for partition of the couple’s home. Brewer counterclaimed for common law restitution, seeking an equal division of all assets. Brewer acknowledged that the relationship was identical to marriage in every way. The trial court dismissed the counterclaim based on Illinois’s prohibition of common law marriage. The appellate court reversed. Blumenthal appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Karmeier, J.)

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