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Gilfillan Wins Largest Termination of Maintenance Case in Central Illinois History

Quinn Johnston partner, Mitch Gilfillan, won the largest maintenance termination case on appeal in Central Illinois history in 2022. Quinn Johnston’s client appealed a Tazewell County circuit court order denying his Petition to Terminate Maintenance which alleged that a former spouse was engaged in a de facto marriage. Under Illinois law, if the court finds cohabitation exists when an opposing party is receiving maintenance payments, that court ordered maintenance will then terminate. Following oral arguments in Ottawa, the Third District Appellate Court held the trial court erred and reversed the ruling in an unanimous decision. After reviewing the record, the Third District found the totality of the circumstances, including the length of the relationship, joint travel, cohabitation, and an exchange of rings, supported a finding of a de facto marriage and that the trial court’s order denying Quinn Johnston’s client’s petition was against the manifest weight of the evidence. In total, the ruling will save the firm’s client more than $2,000,000 over the course of the client’s lifetime.