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02/27/87 In Re Marriage of Barbara Ann Grauer

February 27, 1987

IN RE MARRIAGE OF BARBARA ANN GRAUER, PETITIONER AND


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

Counterrespondent-Appellee, and PAUL W. GRAUER,

Respondent and Counterpetitioner-Appellant

505 N.E.2d 1131, 153 Ill. App. 3d 125, 106 Ill. Dec. 340 1987.IL.250

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Monica Reynolds, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

Justice Lorenz delivered the opinion of the court. Sullivan, P.J., and Murray, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LORENZ

Petitioner initially instituted a dissolution of marriage action but later withdrew her petition. The case thereafter proceeded to trial uncontested and solely on respondent's counterpetition. Raised for the trial court's consideration in said counterpetition were the issues of property, maintenance, and child support. Following the trial and while the court's decision was pending, petitioner filed a prayer for relief requesting attorney fees pursuant to section 508 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 40, par. 508). The judgment of dissolution of marriage both ordered respondent to pay a portion of petitioner's attorney fees and reserved child support should a change in circumstances warrant such reconsideration. It is from those portions of the judgment that this appeal is taken.

For the reasons stated herein, we affirm.

On August 27, 1981, Barbara Grauer (hereinafter referred to as petitioner) filed a petition for dissolution of marriage from her husband of 19 years, Paul Grauer (hereinafter referred to as respondent). Respondent initially filed an answer but later counterpetitioned. Petitioner then responded to the counterpetition. On May 14, 1984, petitioner withdrew her petition and the case proceeded to trial on an uncontested basis on the allegations set forth in respondent's counterpetition. After an initial finding of mental cruelty, the case continued to trial solely on the issues of property, maintenance, and child support.

While the court was reviewing the evidence presented at trial and prior to it reaching a decision, petitioner filed a petition for attorney fees pursuant to section 508 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 40, par. 508(a)(1)). Respondent filed a response to the fee petition, and a full evidentiary hearing was held on the matter.

On November 29, 1984, the trial court made an oral pronouncement of its final decision, leaving certain disputed matters for future resolution. On April 8, 1985, a written judgment of dissolution of marriage was entered. Said judgment ordered respondent, in relevant part, to pay a portion of petitioner's attorney fees. It further reserved the court's right to reconsider its decision to hold against respondent on the issue of child support should a change in circumstances warrant such reconsideration.

Respondent appeals from the judgment below on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction both to award attorney fees and to enter the April 8, 1985, judgment. Alternatively, respondent argues that the trial court (1) failed to make express findings of fact as required by statute; (2) erred in reserving child support due from petitioner; (3) abused its discretion in awarding petitioner's attorney a fee of $30,285 for legal ...


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