On December 26, 2013, Justice Donald C. Hudson delivered his opinion in the marriage of Marsh   2-13-0423, 2013 IL App (2d) 2013. In the Marsh case, the court grapples with the issue of considerations in setting child support amounts with respect to income other than regular salary and nonrecurring income.   In July 2012, the parties were divorced. The parties had three children, one who was still a minor. The ex-husband was ordered pay 20% of his net income in child support to the ex-wife. In addition, husband was ordered to pay 20 % of any additional net income earned by husband every 3 months.

In February 2013 the ex-wife filed a Petition for Rule alleging that Mr. Marsh had failed to pay her 20% of the proceeds from the sale of his Wisted’s Supermarket Stock which he was awarded during the dissolution. The Petitioner held that the liquidation of the stock was income received by Respondent.  In response to Petitioner’s Petition for Rule, the ex-husband attached an affidavit from a certified accountant listing the account basis of the stock which reflected an actual loss.

At the hearing neither party presented further evidence, the Trial Court determined that based on the evidence there was no increase in husband’s wealth and the Petitioner’s Petition was denied.

On appeal, the Second Appellate Court ruled on the conversion of ex-husband’s stocks to money which did not result in a gain. The Court defined financial gain “to be a return in the investment of labor or capital, thereby increasing the wealth of the recipient.” The Appellate Court affirmed the trial courts ruling that ex-husband owed no additional child support.

Threats of Murder are not Protected by Marital Privilege

The People of the State of Illinois, Appellant v. Joseph Trzeciak, Appellee,Ill.Sup.Ct. Docket No. 114491, 2013 IL 114491.

The Illinois Supreme Court found that the threats against a spouse are not barred by the marital privilege stating “… except in cases in which either is charged with an offense against the person or property of the other” and “…spouse’s testimony as to physical acts of cruelty or abuse by the other spouse is admissible on the ground that no confidential communication is involved, or that the information was not gained as a result of the marital relation.”  Additionally, the Supreme Court stated “The privilege covers only those private exchanges which would not have been made but for the absolute confidence in, and induced by, the marital relationship and prompted by the affection, confidence and loyalty engendered by such relationship.” and “Whether a particular communication is privileged as having been made in reliance upon the marital confidence depends on the nature and form of the communication and the circumstances immediately surrounding its making.  Such a determination is a preliminary question of fact to be decided by the trial Court.”