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In re Marriage of Hassiepen

Illinois Court of Appeals
646 N.E.2d 1348 (1995)


Cynthia Hassiepen (plaintiff) and Kevin Von Behren (defendant) divorced with three children. The divorce decree required Von Behren to pay child support. After the divorce, Von Behren began living with Brenda. Von Behren and Brenda agreed to start an electrical contracting company to make money together. At the outset, Von Behren contributed tools and similar assets, and the company used Brenda’s credit cards to purchase other needed supplies. Von Behren performed the electrical work for the company, and Brenda performed general office work. The electrical company did not have a written partnership agreement, and all business signs and business cards indicated that Von Behren was the sole owner. Von Behren and Brenda opened a joint checking account into which they deposited all company income. They also used this account for personal needs. The electric company became successful, and Hassiepen moved for increased child support. In determining Von Behren’s income for purposes of calculating child support, the trial court found that Brenda and Von Behren were business partners and thus attributed half of the company’s income to Von Behren. Hassiepen appealed, arguing that Von Behren was the sole owner of the company and that Brenda was his employee.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Steigmann, J.)

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