Judgment for divorce is entered. It includes the division of the parties’ properties and businesses. It also sets forth the maintenance for the wife.
Soon after, the husband filed a petition to clarify the judgment for dissolution of marriage. He asked the trial court to resolve a disagreement over his wife’s maintenance. And the money wife received from the parties’ business.
The wife filed a petition for a rule to show cause. The husband was not making monthly maintenance payments to her. Without the court’s approval, the husband had reduced the previously agreed maintenance payments due to the wife. The wife wanted her maintenance and attorney fees.
Also, the parties sold a property in Indiana that was covered by the marital settlement agreement. The agreement stated that the proceeds of the sale would be divided evenly between the parties. The husband was responsible “for the payment of any and all costs associated with the property and any improvements” until the property was sold.
Husband’s property accountant sent wife’s attorney a letter stating that husband did not intend to pay wife her portion of the sale. Husband deducted costs associated with the property from any amount due to wife. He was to have paid these costs himself.
The husband then sent the wife an email. In the email, he told the wife that if she wanted to keep the information in the email private, then she should tell her attorney that she was not interested in recouping the attorney fees. And she was not seeking any additional money from the Indiana sale.
The husband stated that he was not going to pay the wife’s attorney fees or give the wife her share of the sold property “without consequences” for a wife. Husband wrote that wife had received “way more than she is entitled to regardless of a divorce decreed.” Husband discussed his belief that wife was not entitled to a portion of his business because she “contributed nothing in regard to our financial success
The husband stated that the “bottom line” was:
“If I am to pay additional undue and inappropriate costs then I am going expose/sham her by sending a letter to her Mother, siblings, and maybe even cousins outlining what I had to endure for way too many years—the letter will contain at least the following.”
The wife filed a Petition for Emergency Order of Protection due to harassment from her husband. The order was granted. Husband appealed. The Appellate Court did not agree with his free speech defense.
Novak v. Novak, 2013 ILApp(1st) 121222-U
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