The husband and wife brought a joint motion to voluntarily dismiss their respective petition and counterpetition that were on file.   At the hearing on the motion for voluntary dismissal, the court granted the motion.  But, it entered judgment against the husband in favor of the wife’s former counsel in the amount of $7,500.  This was from an earlier interim fee award entered against the husband that had not been paid.

The husband appealed.  The Appellate Court upheld the trial court.

The court noted that the trial court’s rationale was reasonable.  The husband “should not be allowed to escape liability for a previously established obligation through such a procedural maneuver.”   Further, the interim award was converted to a judgment prior to the dismissal of the case.  That negated the argument that the interim fee order was a temporary order, which expired.

The dissolution case was ultimately dismissed.  The wife’s former counsel would now have to rely on other collections avenues to enforce the judgment.  And to seek an additional judgment for the balance of any unpaid fees.

In re Marriage of Keller, 2020 IL App (2d) 180960.