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07/21/87 In Re Marriage of Paul L. Stone

July 21, 1987

IN RE MARRIAGE OF PAUL L. STONE, PETITIONER-APPELLEE, AND


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

ANNET HLAVNA STONE, n/k/a Annet Hlavna Stein,

Respondent-Appellant

511 N.E.2d 242, 158 Ill. App. 3d 708, 110 Ill. Dec. 407 1987.IL.1032

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Moultrie County; the Hon. John P. Shonkwiler, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the opinion of the court. SPITZ, P.J., and LUND, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE KNECHT

This matter concerns modification of a custody and visitation agreement entered into by the parties May 25, 1984, and approved by the circuit court of Jersey County on August 2, 1984. On March 31, 1986, petitioner, Paul L. Stone (Paul), filed in Moultrie County circuit court a petition to establish the custody judgment as a Moultrie County judgment pursuant to section 511 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 40, par. 511). The judgment was subsequently modified during proceedings at which respondent, Annet Hlavna Stone, n/k/a Annet Hlavna Stein (Annet), did not appear, although she was personally served with summons. Following the denial of her post-judgment motions, Annet appeals from the order establishing judgment. She raises issues relating to whether the custody agreement constituted a judgment and whether the Moultrie County court had personal jurisdiction over her.

Extensive proceedings occurred in Moultrie and Jersey Counties relating to the same custody agreement. Details of matters pursued in Jersey County will be discussed only to the extent that they bear on Moultrie County proceedings.

The marriage of the parties was dissolved pursuant to a judgment of dissolution of marriage filed and entered by the circuit court of Jersey County on December 28, 1981. The decision reserved child custody, child support, and property issues. It should be noted the parties resided in Moultrie County prior to their divorce. On May 25, 1984, Paul and Annet entered into an agreement concerning child custody and other child-related matters. The agreement provided for joint custody. It also provided that the three minor children would reside with Paul during the school year, and with Annet during summer vacation. The agreement also allowed Annet physical custody of the children every other weekend during the school year, and the same right of custody to Paul during the children's summer vacation with Annet. The agreement shows the notation "approved August 2, 1984," with the Judge's signature beneath. The agreement was filed in the Jersey County circuit clerk's office August 2, 1984. The circuit clerk's docket entry for August 2 shows: "[Agreement] Concerning Child Custody and Other Child Related Matters filed and approved."

On November 14, 1985, the Jersey County circuit court rendered its decision relating to child support and property rights. The decision stated "[in] May of 1984, the parties agreed on custody of the three children of the marriage now aged 14, 12, and 8 (soon to be 9). The matters now before the court concern determination of marital property, values of property, division of property, debts, and support of children."

At the time the instant proceedings took place, Annet lived in Missouri, while Paul and the minor children remained in Moultrie County. Annet subsequently sought enforcement of certain child custody provisions in Jersey County circuit court. On March 24, 1986, she filed a petition for rule to show cause and for attorney fees relating to Paul's alleged denial of visitation rights specified in the custody agreement.

On March 31, 1986, in Moultrie County circuit court, Paul filed a petition to establish judgment pursuant to section 511 of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 40, par. 511). Attached to the petition were copies of the Jersey County dissolution order dated December 28, 1981, and the parties' custody agreement filed and approved by the Jersey County court on August 2, 1984. A copy of the November 14, 1985, decision was not attached. On March 31, Paul also filed petitions to modify the child custody agreement and to modify Annet's visitation rights. Annet was personally served with summons.

Proceedings continued in Jersey County relating to the custody agreement. Paul's motion to transfer venue with respect to the petition for rule to show cause was denied April 29, 1986. The court noted that although the dissolution occurred in 1981, the property issue was still pending on appeal. The court stated it had the authority under section 512 of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 40, par. 512) to transfer a custody matter to the circuit in which the minor children resided; however, Paul had not "shown any good reason why the issue should be decided by the circuit court of Moultrie County." It ...


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