By: Donald C. Schiller
Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP
Chicago, Lake Forest and Wheaton, Illinois
Telephone: (312) 641-5560; Facsimile: (312) 641-6361:;

Michelle A. Lawless
The Law Office of Michelle A. Lawless LLC
161 N. Clark St. Suite 1700 Chicago, Illinois
Telephone: (312) 741-1092; Trial court’s award of joint decision-making and equal parenting time reversed and remanded.Father filed a petition to establish parentage and for parental responsibility.  After an extensive trial, the court ordered equal parenting time and joint decision-making. The evidence included testimony from both parties concerning an incident where the child broke her leg during father’s parenting time and mother’s alleged refusal to continue to allow him to have parenting time after that incident. There was evidence regarding the parties’ acrimonious relationship including the father’s actions to block mother on Facebook when she was pregnant and his refusal to do a DNA test.  Mother also testified as to a number of times the child was returned to her without her diaper being changed.  In its ruling, the trial court did not expressly name the IMDMA or discuss any of the best interest factors set forth therein in support of its order. Mother appealed and the Appellate Court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. In its opinion, the Court distinguishedthe case of In re the Marriage of Whitehead, 2018 IL App (5th) 170380relied upon by father.  The trial court in Whitehead did not address each factor, butstated that it considered all of the evidence rendering its decision which included the GAL’s report which had reviewed each factor extensively. Because the trial court in the case at bar did not reference any of the factors and there was no GAL report on which to rely which discussed the factors, the trial court did not comply with the statute when rendering its decision. Sadler v. Pulliam, 2022 IL App (5th) 220213.
Sadler v. Pulliam 2022 IL App (5th) 220213.pdf

2. Trial court’s order for relocation to Alabama affirmed.  In a parentage action where there was no allocation judgment of parental responsibilities or child support order put into place after the birth of the child and the parties never lived together, mother moved to Alabama.  It was disputed whether father had agreed for her and the child to move.  Father filed a petition for allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time and to establish child support after mother had moved.  Mother then filed a petition for relocation.  The trial court ordered mother to return to Illinois pending trial which she did.  In the meantime, father moved from Chicago to Champaign, Illinois.  The trial court heard extensive testimony about a job waiting for mother in Alabama and the fact that she had applied to over 200 jobs in the Chicagoland area and had not secured employment; and that she had the ability to live in a much safer neighborhood than she could in Chicago, among other facts.  The GAL issued a report which weighed in favor of relocation.  The GAL noted that father did not desire to be the parent with the majority of parenting time and that there was concern that the objection to the relocation was more about controlling the mother than it was about parenting time with the minor child.  The trial court made extensive findings in accordance with 750 ILCS 5/609.2(g) and concluded that relocation of the child to Alabama was in the child’s best interest.  The Appellate Court affirmed and in doing so distinguished several cases where the Appellate Court overturned a trial court’s ruling allowing relocation and noted the trial court and the GAL’s determination that mother’s motive in seeking relocation was to provide an enhanced quality of life for the child while father’s motivation is opposing was more about controlling mother rather than parenting time with the child since he had moved 122 miles from Chicago while the mother and child had moved back to Chicago at his insistence pending trial.  Scott v. Haritos, 2022 IL App (1st) 220074.
Scott v. Haritos, 2022 IL App (1st) 220074.pdf

3. Motion to enforce money judgment in judgment for dissolution of marriage time-barred.Ex-wife filed a motion to enforce judgment for dissolution of marriage in 2021 with respect to a judgment which was entered in 1995.  She alleged she was entitled to $50,946 which was to be paid within 30 days from the entry of judgment which she never received.  The request for the $50,946 was time-barred.  Section 12-108 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that “no judgment shall be enforced after the expiration of 7 years from the time the same is rendered…”. A judgment may be revived by filing a petition to revive a judgment provided it is filed within 20 years after it entry pursuant to Section 13-218 of the Code of Civil Procedure.  Because this was a money judgment in a divorce case, the above provisions apply and ex-wife was barred for seeking enforcement of the judgment 26 years after entry of judgment.  In re Marriage of Poulsom, 2022 IL App (1st) 220100.
In re Marriage of Poulsom, 2022 IL App (1st) 220100.pdf

4. Petition to enforce sale of marital residence denied. Ex-wife filed a motion to enforce judgment for dissolution of marriage 26 years after its entry wherein she alleged her ex-husband failed to list the marital residence for sale for which she was to receive 60% of the sales proceeds. Husband argued that ex-wife had in fact signed over title to him in 1999 and he had refinanced the mortgage and paid her $115,800 which was 60% of its value.  Due to the 26 yeardelay in ex-wife seeking enforcement, most bank records were not available, including copies of the check written to ex-wife for her 60% buy-out.  Husband did call the notary who had notarized the deed who corroborated husband’s testimony that the ex-wife had in fact signed over title.  The trial court’s finding that husband satisfied the judgment by paying wife $115,8000 was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.  Wife failed to make an offer of proof to dispute the fact that she had signed a quit claim deed although she claimed she had a handwriting expert which would refute that she had actually signed the deed.  Without an offer of proof, no appealable issue remained.  In re Marriage of Poulsom, 2022 IL App (1st) 220100.
In re Marriage of Poulsom, 2022 IL App (1st) 220100.pdf

5. Turnover orders to satisfy attorneys’ fees consent judgment affirmed.  A former client appealed the order of the trial court which granted two motions for turnover filed by the former law firm of the client in order to satisfy a $325,000 consent judgment.  The first motion sought turnover of real estate which was awarded to client under the judgment but still owned by the ex-husband, and the second motion sought turnover of the client’s chose in action against ex-husband related to a $500,000 lump sum payment owed to her under the judgment.  The Appellate Court affirmed both turnover orders.  Section 2-1402(c)(3) provides that a judgment creditor may step into the shoes of a judgment debtor and exercise the right to compel transfer of the property which she was entitled to under the judgment.  Essentially,section 2-1402(c)(3) provides that if a third party is holding assets that belong to the judgment debtor, the court may compel the application of the discovered assets or income to the satisfaction of the judgment, as long as the judgment debtor would have the right to recover such assets from the third party.  With respect to the chose in action, which is a claim that could be litigated, since the former client had a right to receive the $500,000 lump sum payment from ex-husband under the marital settlement agreement, which is a contractual right which may be assigned, the trial court did not err in ordering the turnover of the chose in action in favor of the law firm.  In re Marriage of Davis, 2022 IL App (1st) 210623.
In re Marriage of Davis, 2022 IL App (1st) 210623.pdf