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In re Marriage of Vondra

Court of Appeals of Illinois

June 28, 2013

In re MARRIAGE OF David VONDRA, Petitioner-Appellee, Mika J. Vondra, Respondent (Nicholas Vondra and Michael Vondra, Appellants; Eugenia Sabadaska, Plaintiff; and David Vondra, Individually and David Vondra as Trustee of the David Vondra Revocable Trust Dated November 20, 2007, Defendant).

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Paul L. Feinstein, Ltd., of Chicago (Paul L. Feinstein, of counsel), for appellants.

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Deutsch, Levy & Engel, Chtrd., of Chicago (Melvyn H. Berks, of counsel), for appellee.

Presiding Justice HARRIS delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Connors and Simon concurred in the judgment and opinion.

[373 Ill.Dec. 623] OPINION

¶ 1 Appellants Nicholas and Michael Vondra appeal the order of the circuit court denying their motion to reconsider its determination that Nicholas and Michael have no standing to intervene in the marriage dissolution proceedings of their parents, David and Mika Vondra. On appeal, Nicholas and Michael contend the trial court misapplied the law and should have allowed joinder pursuant to section 2-406 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-406 (West 2010)), since a judgment in the proceedings regarding the payment of their college expenses could adversely affect their interests. Alternatively, Nicholas and Michael argue that the trial court should allow them to intervene as a matter of right in the dissolution proceedings pursuant to section 2-408 of the Code (735 ILCS 5/2-408 (West 2010)). For the following reasons, we affirm.

¶ 2 JURISDICTION

¶ 3 The circuit court entered its order on May 22, 2012. Nicholas and Michael filed a motion to reconsider on June 21, 2012, which the trial court denied on September 20, 2012.[1] The court also made a finding pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 304(a) (Ill. S.Ct. R. 304(a) (eff. Feb. 26, 2010)) that " there is no just reason for delaying appeal." Nicholas and Michael filed a notice of appeal on October 11, 2012. Accordingly, this court has jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 304(a) governing appeals from judgments entered below as to fewer than all parties or claims.

¶ 4 BACKGROUND

¶ 5 David Vondra filed for divorce from Mika on October 28, 2010. The parties have two adult children: Nicholas, who was born on December 18, 1992, and Michael, born on March 11, 1991. The divorce case is pending before the circuit court. Eugenia Sabadaska, Mika's mother, also filed a claim in chancery against David seeking $68,000 for monies she contends belong to her. Her case was consolidated with David and Mika's divorce case.

¶ 6 On December 21, 2011, Mika filed a petition pursuant to section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Marriage Act) (750 ILCS 5/513 (West 2010)). Her petition requests that David contribute toward the college expenses of Nicholas and Michael, as well as to Mika's living expenses while the children reside with her. In his response, David stated that Michael has assets totaling $85,832 and Nicholas has assets totaling $126,961, much of which is in a " college fund" for purposes of providing them a college education. He also alleged that Mika was alienating their children against him. Mika was granted leave to file an amended petition. On April 9, 2012, Nicholas and Michael filed a motion for leave to be joined pursuant to section 2-406 of the Code.

¶ 7 The trial court denied the motion on May 22, 2012, finding that Nicholas and Michael did not have standing ...


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