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Harnois v. Harnois

MARCH 27, 1973.

HUBERT A. HARNOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

MARIE HARNOIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EDWARD E. PLUSDRAK, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE STAMOS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied April 24, 1973.

Defendant, Marie Harnois, appeals from a supplement to a judgment of divorce which declared the property rights of the parties. She contends:

1. The trial court erred in ordering her to convey a one-half interest in the marital home to plaintiff since he had previously made a gift of such interest to her;

2. It was error to determine the rights of plaintiff's mother in personal property located in the marital home since she was not a party to the action;

3. The trial court erred by not allowing defendant's request for an accounting; and

4. The trial court erred in placing a limit on the amount of child support payments to be made by plaintiff without a similar limitation for her.

The parties were married on February 24, 1949. Two daughters, Geri and Debra, were born as issue of the marriage on October 26, 1950 and April 10, 1953, respectively. When judgment was entered Geri was married and Debra was 18 years of age and a student at the University of Illinois.

Plaintiff filed a complaint for divorce on July 2, 1968 alleging mental cruelty. Defendant filed an answer to the complaint and a counterclaim for separate maintenance. The trial court dismissed the counterclaim. A jury trial was conducted on the complaint, the jury found in favor of plaintiff and a judgment of divorce was entered. Thereafter a hearing on the matters of property distribution and child support was conducted by the trial court.

Plaintiff is a sergeant with the Chicago Police Department. He earns approximately $14,700 per year. Defendant is a school teacher employed by the Chicago Board of Education. She earns approximately $15,900 per year and has been gainfully employed in one capacity or another throughout the period of the marriage except during pregnancies and a confinement for surgery.

The parties purchased a home in joint tenancy on July 4, 1952. In 1958 plaintiff collided with a child while driving his automobile. Thereafter on May 13, 1958 plaintiff conveyed his interest in the home to defendant for no consideration. Both parties continued to reside in the home and plaintiff continued to make the mortgage installment payments thereon until at least 1968.

On May 11, 1971 the trial court entered a supplement to the judgment of divorce which required defendant to convey a one-half interest in the home to plaintiff. The court further ordered that both parties contribute one-half of the college expenses of their daughter Debra, but limited plaintiff's expenditures therefor to $1000 per year. In a second supplement to the judgment the court awarded plaintiff certain personal property located in the marital home and ordered defendant to allow its removal therefrom.

Defendant initially contends that the trial court erred in ordering her to convey a one-half interest in the marital home to plaintiff. She argues that when plaintiff conveyed his interest as joint tenant in the property to her in 1958 such conveyance raised the presumption of a gift and plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence to overcome the presumption. Plaintiff contends, and the trial court found, ...


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