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Gauger v. Gauger

OPINION FILED MARCH 13, 1979.

DIANN GAUGER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE — CROSS-APPELLANT — APPELLANT,

v.

TYRONE GAUGER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT — CROSS-APPELLEE — APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. MARY ANN McMORROW and the Hon. WILLIAM E. PETERSON, Judges, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE HARTMAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

These consolidated appeals have their genesis in a contested divorce proceeding. After extensive evidentiary hearings, however, a consent judgment for divorce was entered on August 2, 1977, in favor of plaintiff-wife and against defendant-husband. Certain matters were agreed to by the parties and others were left to be determined by the trial court following further evidentiary hearings. Among those provisions to which the parties consented, in addition to the findings with respect to the divorce itself, were the following:

(1) permanent care, custody and education of two minor daughters was awarded to defendant with liberal visitation rights granted to plaintiff;

(2) defendant was to purchase the undivided one-half interest of plaintiff in and to their marital home, held in joint tenancy, within 60 days after entry of the judgment for divorce with a method for valuation of plaintiff's interest provided by formula; alternatively, defendant was authorized to sell the home if he was unable to secure financing for paying of plaintiff's interest, or if he was unable to afford its purchase, utilizing a formula calculated to achieve a sale within certain time limits; and

(3) defendant was to buy out plaintiff's equity in certain Wisconsin real estate held by them in joint tenancy.

Questions of division of furniture, alimony, child support and attorneys' fees were reserved for further determination by the trial court, which came on August 24, 1977, following additional evidentiary hearings. In the August 24 order, the trial court entered the following awards:

(1) defendant was to pay plaintiff the sum of $50 per month alimony, for a period of 3 years, or until she remarried;

(2) defendant was to pay plaintiff $500 for her interests in certain furniture;

(3) defendant was to contribute $2,500 toward plaintiff's legal expenses, totaling approximately $4,800, the balance of which were to be paid by plaintiff; and

(4) defendant's request for contribution from plaintiff toward child support was denied.

On August 29, 1977, defendant filed a notice of appeal, seeking review of the provisions of the August 24 order, and on September 14, 1977, he filed an amended notice of appeal seeking review of the "money provisions" contained in the consent judgment of August 2, 1977, as well as the provisions of the subsequent order of August 24, 1977.

Meanwhile, plaintiff remarried.

Thereafter, on September 22, 1977, defendant petitioned for and secured an order staying execution and enforcement of the August 24 order and the money provisions of the August 2 order. The trial court also directed defendant to pay $1,500 in plaintiff's attorneys' fees for defense of the appeal. Defendant filed a notice of appeal from the provision of the September 22, 1977, order awarding attorneys' fees for defense of the appeal to plaintiff, who herself on October 13, 1977, filed a notice of appeal seeking review of that part of the September 22, 1977, order staying execution of the provisions of the orders of August 2 and 24, 1977.

While all appeals hereinabove noted were pending, defendant commenced a proceeding in the trial court seeking modification of that part of the August 24, 1977, order which denied his request for contribution from plaintiff toward child support. Following an evidentiary hearing, on March 20, 1978, a judge sitting in place of the original trial judge modified the child support provisions of the August 24, 1977, order and directed plaintiff to pay ...


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