In re Marriage of Bolte

Illinois Appellate Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
2012 IL App (3d) 110791
Decision Date: 
September 12, 2012
3d Dist.
Rock Island Co.
Reversed and remanded.
Wife was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis seven years prior to judgment of dissolution; she depended solely on social security disability benefits and maintenance payments, and her earning capacity is virtually eliminated due to disability. Wife proved that she lacks ability to pay attorney fees, but husband is more than able to pay, given great disparity in parties' actual earnings and earning capacity. Court abused its discretion in ordering husband to pay only half of wife's attorney fees on basis that her claim for increased maintenance, in response to husband's petitions to terminate or reduce maintenance, was nonmeritorious. (HOLDRIDGE and WRIGHT, concurring.)