Issue: Under Illinois law, on appeal what is the standard of review applied to a division of retirement assets in a marriage dissolution case?
|Area of Law:||Family Law|
|Keywords:||; Standard of Review; Retirement Assets; Marriage Dissolution|
The distribution of marital property lies within the sound discretion of the circuit court, and we will not disturb its judgment on review absent an abuse of discretion. In re Marriage of Eidson, 235 Ill.App.3d 907, 911 (1992). "If the method of pension apportionment has not been determined earlier, the court has ‘discretion to consider the evidence before it and devise a method of its own.’" (Emphasis added.) In re Marriage of Richardson, 381 Ill.App.3d 47, 53 (2008) (quoting In re Marriage of Wisniewski, 286 Ill.App.3d 236, 243 (1997)). "We will not reverse the court’s choice of an apportionment method unless the court abused its discretion in selecting that method." Id. An abuse of discretion occurs when the decision was " ‘clearly against logic.’ " In re Marriage of Munger, 339 Ill.App.3d 1104, 1107 (2003) (quoting State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Leverton, 314 Ill.App.3d 1080, 1083 (2000)). "[T]he question is whether the trial court made an arbitrary decision, without using conscientious judgment, or whether, in view of all of the circumstances, the trial court overstepped the bounds of reason, ignored the law, and thereby caused substantial prejudice to the appellant." Id.
Where a circuit court makes an arbitrary decision, without using conscientious judgment, thereby causing substantial prejudice to a party, it will be deemed an abuse of discretion. See In re Marriage of Munger, 339 Ill. App. 3d at 1107.
In re Marriage of Weger, No. 5-15-0141, 2016.IL.0000241 […]