Appellate Court of Illinois
967 N.E.2d 358 (Ill. App. Ct. 2012)
Karen Brankin (plaintiff) and Gary Brankin (defendant) were married. Karen made an annual salary of $75,000. Gary made an annual salary of $400,000. With this combined income, the Brankins maintained a high standard of living during their marriage. The Brankins lived in a home that they had purchased for over $1,000,000 and frequently traveled on Gary’s jet. Karen filed a petition for divorce. At the time of divorce, Gary was 58 years old and had recently suffered a heart attack. The trial court awarded Karen permanent maintenance of $3,000 per month. In making the award, the trial court primarily considered the Brankins’ previous high standard of living, Karen’s need for maintenance, and Gary’s ability to pay maintenance both at the time of the divorce and in the future, given Gary’s age and health. Gary appealed, arguing that the trial court had placed too much weight on the Brankins’ standard of living during the marriage and that Karen, given her salary, did not need maintenance. Gary also argued that, given his health, the trial court’s award of maintenance was too high and should not have been permanent. Karen also appealed, arguing that the trial court’s maintenance award should have more closely equalized the Brankins’ post-divorce incomes.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Schostok, J.)
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