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Blazina v. Blazina

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 1, 1976.

VINCENT BLAZINA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ROBERTA BLAZINA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. GEORGE BOROVIC, JR., Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DIXON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This is a divorce case originally filed on behalf of the husband Vincent Blazina charging that the wife Roberta Blazina was guilty of habitual drunkenness and extreme and repeated acts of mental cruelty. The wife answered and counterclaimed. Immediately prior to the introduction of evidence, the husband was permitted to withdraw his complaint. No answer or other pleading was filed in response to the countercomplaint and the case was tried on the allegations of the countercomplaint alone. The circuit court of Du Page County granted the wife a divorce, awarded custody of the minor child of the parties to the wife but gave liberal visitation privileges to the husband. The court divided certain personal property of the parties, awarded $30 per week child support and $30 per week alimony and ordered a sale of the marital home jointly owned by the parties. The wife appeals.

The issues presented for review are:

1

Did the court abuse its discretion in ordering the sale of the jointly owned marital home of the parties where no pleading requested the same? We find that it did and reverse this portion of the judgment.

2

Did the court err in refusing to admit evidence of the wife's special equities in the marital home and in denying her motion to amend her complaint to allege such special equities? We find that it did and reverse and remand this portion of the judgment with directions to allow her to amend her complaint and for further proceedings.

3

Did she receive a fair trial when the trial court; refused to allow an offer of proof; refused to permit argument on her behalf and denied admissibility of evidence of the consequences of the husband's abnormal behavior? We find no reversible error on this point and affirm.

4

Did the court act arbitrarily in granting liberal visitation privileges to the husband? We find no error on this issue and affirm this part of the judgment.

Vincent and Roberta Blazina were married on April 6, 1968. In December of 1968, they had their only child, Vincent D. Blazina, Jr. Mrs. Blazina had been married before and had one son, Billy, who lived with the parties during their marriage. Billy was 14 years old at the time of the trial of the case in September, 1975. He was never adopted by Vincent Blazina.

Counterplaintiff described how her husband had struck her on various occasions. He had given her a black eye and, on one occasion, hit her on the side of the head and broke her eardrum. She also testified that he was drunk every night since they were married.

Before the marriage, the parties had agreed that Mrs. Blazina was to contribute $4,000 of her funds, plus other amounts, for the purchase of a building. The court denied this evidence and also refused to permit the counterplaintiff to amend her countercomplaint to conform to the proof. The court then denied counsel for counterplaintiff the opportunity to make an offer of proof as to the particulars of this financial arrangement. The court would not permit argument on this issue.

The parties used the proceeds of the sale of the first building that they had purchased to buy their existing marital home in Addison, Illinois. The ...


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