Kim and Paul got divorced in July, 2003.  In their divorce settlement, they agreed that they would keep title in both of their names.  Paul would live in the house.  Paul would be responsible for all costs of the house before its sale. Paul will either place the Oak Park home for sale on or before September 1, 2007, or buy out Kim’s interest.

Kim filed papers in court based on her claims that Paul was not making any efforts to make repairs for the house to be put on the market.  Later, in 2008, they received an offer to sell for $1.875 million.  The buyers walked away because Paul did not accept the offer on time. After the sale fell through, Kim allegedly had a large amount of debt that she was unable to pay due to the lost sale of the marital residence. The house later did sell for $1.5 million.

Kim filed contempt proceedings against Paul in court. After a hearing in 2014, the Judge found Paul to be in “indirect civil contempt” and ordered Paul to pay an amount equal to half of the 2008 final offer of $1.875 million (not half of what it actually sold for). Paul was ordered to pay Kim’s attorney fees, in an amount of $64,229.43. Paul was also ordered to pay Kim prejudgment of $102,115.90.

Paul appealed on many grounds. He made many arguments that the court had improperly made these ordered against him. The Appellate Court, basically, stated that the express terms of the divorce decree stated that Paul was required to either put the marital residence up for sale on or before September 1, 2007, or buy out Kim’s interest. The home was not up for sale by the expressed deadline, and Paul did not buy out Kim’s interest. Furthermore, the trial court found that Paul failed to provide a credible reason as to why he failed to comply with the September 1, 2007, deadline.

In re Marriage of O’Malley, 2016 IL App (1st) 151118