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10/26/88 In Re Marriage of Katharine M. Aird

October 26, 1988

IN RE MARRIAGE OF KATHARINE M. AIRD, F/K/A KATHARINE M.


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

Miller, Petitioner-Appellee, and LYNN S. MILLER,

Respondent-Appellant

530 N.E.2d 556, 175 Ill. App. 3d 870, 125 Ill. Dec. 398 1988.IL.1574

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Menard County; the Hon. Lyle E. Lipe, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE GREEN delivered the opinion of the court. LUND and SPITZ, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE GREEN

Respondent Lynn S. Miller appeals from a judgment of the circuit court of Menard County entered May 5, 1988, which found respondent had unreasonably withheld his consent to and refused to pay his share of needed improvements on the parties' marital residence, in contravention of a previous judgment of dissolution of marriage entered in this matter. The judgment of May 5, 1988, then ordered respondent to make those payments. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

Petitioner Katharine M. Miller petitioned the court to dissolve the marriage between herself and respondent. The court entered an initial judgment for dissolution of their marriage on April 30, 1986. The judgment permitted petitioner to reside in the marital residence until the parties' youngest child reached the age of 18. It further ordered petitioner and respondent to each pay one-half of certain payments due concerning the property. Finally, and of most significance for purposes of this appeal, the judgment provided:

"That [ petitioner ] is to maintain the normal and ordinary repairs on said premises, and any capital improvements which are not normal required maintenance may be made with each of the parties paying one-half (1/2) of said improvement after the [respondent] has been informed of the improvement and has consented to the same." (Emphasis added.)

For reasons not of significance here, the court vacated its judgment of April 30, 1986, on June 2, 1986. Then, the court entered another judgment for dissolution on July 7, 1986, which judgment contained an identical provision as before with regard to the marital residence. The evidence at the hearing on petitioner's petition showed that, in the interim, petitioner conveyed her interest in the property to her father by quitclaim deed. The record further showed her father later deeded the property back to her.

Petitioner testified that, following entry of the judgment of dissolution, she and her father made several requests to respondent to obtain his consent to certain capital improvements she said were needed for the marital residence. She said she forwarded estimates of the costs for those improvements to respondent but failed to receive any response from him for some time. She further testified that ultimately respondent refused to consent to the repairs as requested, and she filed the instant petition.

After an evidentiary hearing, the court eventually entered an amended judgment on May 5, 1988, from which appeal is taken. The judgment stated in part:

"[Petitioner] [had] proved that [Respondent] [had] unreasonably withheld his consent to needed improvements on the house where [Petitioner] and [Respondent's] children are living, and that said conduct was unreasonable as it [had] forced the [Petitioner] and the children of ...


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