Legal Memorandum: Appellate standard of review for rehabilitative maintenance

Issue: Under Illinois law, what is the standard of review applied to the grant or denial of rehabilitative maintenance in a dissolution?

Area of Law: Family Law
Keywords: ; Rehabilitative; Maintenance; Dissolution; Marriage; Purpose; Standard of Living
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2016

The purpose of rehabilitative maintenance is to "provide incentive for the spouse receiving support to use diligence in procuring training or skills necessary to attain self-sufficiency." In re Marriage of Toole, 273 Ill.App.3d 607, 611 (1995). This objective must be balanced against a realistic appraisal of the likelihood that the spouse will be able to support herself in some reasonable approximation of the standard of living established during the marriage, especially where the marriage was of long duration. Brown v. Brown, 241 Ill.App.3d 305, 310 (1993); In re Marriage of Pearson, 236 Ill.App.3d 337, 347 (1992). The policy underlying rehabilitative maintenance is to sever all financial ties between the former couple in an expeditious, and just manner and make each spouse independent of the other as soon as practicable. In re Marriage of Ward, 267 Ill.App.3d 35, 42 (1994).

The propriety, amount, and duration of a maintenance award are matters which lie within the sound discretion of the trial court, and its judgment will not be disturbed on review absent an abuse of that discretion. In re Marriage of Hart, 194 Ill.App.3d 839, 851 (1990). An abuse of discretion occurs where no reasonable person would take the view adopted by the trial court. Id.  When a party challenges a trial court’s factual findings regarding a maintenance determination, this court will not dispute a trial court’s findings unless the findings are against the manifest weight of the evidence.  In re Marriage of Walker, […]

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