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Friday, September 20, 2019

Court settles postmarital dispute over business bank account, lake house

Lawsuits

By Charmaine Little | Mar 20, 2019


MOUNT VERNON - The Illinois Fifth District Appellate Court reversed on March 19 a lower court’s ruling that money in a husband’s bank account was a nonmarital property.

According to the ruling, Mary Blair and Richard Blair had dissolved their 10-year marriage, and Mary Blair appealed after the lower court’s rulings on assets. On top of reversing the order concerning Richard Blair’s business bank account, the appellate court also affirmed the ruling that a certificate of deposit Mary Blair bought during the union was considered marital property and that the marital estate wasn’t owed reimbursement for contributions toward the debt on Richard Blair’s lake house.

As for Richard Blair’s bank accounts, the appellate court held that Richard did not attempt to establish the premarital balances of his business accounts. 


Illinois Fifth District Court of Appeals Justice David K. Overstreet

Presiding Justice David K. Overstreet wrote the Rule 23 decision, and justices Thomas M. Welch and James R. Moore concurred. 

According to background in the ruling, the Blairs separated in June 2013 and Mary Blair filed for divorce and the two forfeited the two-year separation requirement so they could get divorced right away. 

Richard Blair submitted an affidavit of assets and liabilities, saying that he earned $2,779 a month from his business and had expenses of $2,105 a month. His assets also included two homes (one on Triad Road and a lake house in Cuba, Mo.) and four bank accounts (two personal accounts which were their marital accounts, with a total balance of $3,315, one business account with $22,000 and a business savings with $33,000).

Mary Blair also filed an affidavit with her own assets and liabilities – stating her monthly assets were $2,879 and monthly expenses were $2,568. She also had US Bank checking accounts with a balance of $5,657 and a US Bank certificate of deposit with a value of $10,506. She included an interest in Cessna Cardinal airplane that she and Michael Blair bought while married.

When the two had disputes over the property, the trial court made its decision. Richard Blair was given his business, the equipment that came along with it, and the bank account, the Triad Road home and the lake house as nonmarital assets. He had to reimburse the marital estate $75,000, which was used to pay off the mortgage. He had to pay his former wife $37,500 for the interest. 

He was also ordered to reimburse Mary Blair for the sale of the Cuba lake house. The two also disagreed over $26,479 in cash that supposedly went missing from the safe. The court awarded each party half. Mary Blair did get the CD, and her former husband had to pay her the difference. It also said she was owed half of the value of the Cessa Cardinal, which totaled to be $7,500. 

Ultimately, Michael Blair owed Mary Blair $100,500. In the appeal, both parties were able to agree that the court purposed to determine she was owed $110,508.50. 

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