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In Re Marriage of Wardell

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 29, 1986.

IN RE MARRIAGE OF JOHN W. WARDELL, PETITIONER-APPELLEE, AND CAROL J. WARDELL, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. George W. Pease, Judge, presiding. PRESIDING JUSTICE NASH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied December 18, 1986.

Respondent, Carol J. Wardell, appeals from an order of the circuit court denying her post-decree petition for attorney fees and to compel petitioner, John W. Wardell, to pay a judgment entered against the parties subsequent to the dissolution of marriage. The wife contends (1) that she was entitled to recover attorney fees incurred through the husband's fault; and (2) that her petition to compel the husband to satisfy a judgment obtained against the parties was not barred by the doctrine of res judicata, as was determined by the trial court.

In March 1982 the husband filed a petition for dissolution of marriage and thereafter the wife filed a counterpetition. The parties were married 29 years and had five children, of whom only one, Douglas, was a minor at the time the petition for dissolution was filed.

During the pendency of the dissolution action, Douglas was institutionalized in various facilities for treatment of chronic psychiatric problems. In May 1982 the court ordered the parties to obtain a third mortgage on the marital residence in order to finance Douglas' treatment, requiring the husband to make payment of the mortgage. In June 1983 the court ordered the husband to enroll Douglas in Eau Claire Academy, a long-term residential care facility, and to pay the tuition due upon admission; the husband then signed a contract with the facility assuming financial responsibility for the costs of Douglas' care. Douglas reached his majority in August 1983 and, in proceedings in the probate division of the circuit court, was declared a disabled person and a guardian appointed for him. In September 1983 the court ordered the parties to execute a note and mortgage in the amount of $11,790 to obtain funds to pay Eau Claire Academy.

In March 1984 the circuit court entered an order on the wife's counterpetition dissolving the marriage and awarded the following marital property to the husband:

(1) his interest in his law practice;

(2) IRA account in the amount of $20,734;

(3) Merrill Lynch account in the amount of $3,000;

(4) cash surrender value of his life insurance policy in the amount of $11,760;

(5) one-half of the proceeds from the sale of stock owned by the parties;

(6) promissory note from husband's business partner in the amount of $1,022; and

(7) promissory note from the law firm in the amount of $21,000.

The court awarded the wife the following ...


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