Is Ex-Husband Obligated to Pay Car Loan As a Part of Property Settlement Even After the Wife Remarried ?

Was it the Obligation of the Ex-Husband to Pay the Car Loan Which Constituted Part of Property Settlement Even After the Wife's Remarriage ? In In re Marriage of Rowden, 163 Ill. App. 3d 869, 872, 516 N.E.2d 1041, 114 Ill. Dec. 886 (1987), the parties purchased a car during their marriage, procuring a loan to purchase that vehicle. Rowden, 163 Ill. App. 3d at 870. The judgment dissolving the parties' marriage provided that the wife was awarded the vehicle, that the husband would pay the wife's car loan in lieu of maintenance, and that, except for the car payments, the parties waived any claim to maintenance. A few months after the parties' marriage was dissolved, the wife remarried. A year later, the husband filed for bankruptcy and ceased making payments on the car loan. The wife petitioned for a rule to show cause why the husband should not be held in contempt for failing to make the car payments. In ruling on the wife's petition, the trial court found that payment on the loan was part of the parties' property settlement, unaffected by the wife's remarriage, and the husband appealed. Rowden, 163 Ill. App. 3d at 871. The appellate court affirmed, determining that the husband's payments on the car loan constituted part of the property settlement, not maintenance. Rowden, 163 Ill. App. 3d at 872. In reaching this conclusion, the appellate court noted that the payments were for a specific amount of money, paid over a definite period of time. Rowden, 163 Ill. App. 3d at 872. The court found it significant that, except for payment on the loan, the parties waived any right to maintenance and any claim they may have had to each other's property. Rowden, 163 Ill. App. 3d at 872. Further, the court observed that neither the label attached to the obligation nor the method of payment conclusively determines the nature of the award. Rowden, 163 Ill. App. 3d at 872.