The parties had been married in Iowa. They lived together until her wife moved to Illinois. Wife filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Illinois.

Summons was issued to the husband. He was then a resident of the state of Georgia. He was personally served.

The petition for dissolution requested that the court award the wife a divorce, her nonmarital property, her equitable share of the marital property, and other relief as the court deemed equitable.

The husband did nothing after being served.

The wife sent notice to a husband that the case was set for a default hearing on the petition for dissolution of marriage. The husband did not appear for the hearing. An order of default was entered.

The court heard testimony from the wife. It granted the petition for dissolution. It also ruled on the division of various assets and liabilities.

Over $65,000 in liabilities was given to the husband. He was to hold his wife harmless. The court also entered judgment against the husband for $22,500. This was for a property that the wife had contributed to starting the husband’s business.

The wife later filed a citation notice. She sought collection of the $22,500 judgment. Husband, through his attorney, filed a general appearance.

Two months later, the husband filed a motion to dismiss the citation. On the grounds that the court lacked personal jurisdiction. He argued that Illinois was not the matrimonial domicile. And he argued that he had not submitted to jurisdiction in Illinois.

Two days later, the husband filed a special and limited appearance. He attacked jurisdiction on the underlying judgment. He agreed that the judgment dissolving the marriage was proper. However, he moved to vacate the judgment as it related to property.

The court heard arguments. It entered an order striking husband’s special and limited appearance, finding that the general appearance subjected the husband to personal jurisdiction and retroactively applied to the prior judgment of dissolution. Husband moved for reconsideration of the order. This was denied. Husband appealed.

The post-judgment general appearance did not subject the husband to personal jurisdiction retroactively. Further, it did not serve to validate the previous judgment entered.

IRMO Hoover, 314 Ill.App.3d 707

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