Court entered default judgment dissolving marriage. Husband simply did not show in court on the set date. Court entered an order that all shares of stock held by husband or his enterprises were marital property. The wife was awarded half of shares of stock.
The evidence showed that husband was worth approximately $7.3 million. It showed that wife had minimal income. Wife was unable to support herself. She had recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. The court ordered husband to pay wife $6,175 in maintenance per month for 48 months. The court noted that husband was already behind in prior payments to wife for $67,925. Adding the back payments and the future payments, husband owed wife $364,325. The Court ordered husband to make the full payment in a lump sum.
Nine months later, husband came to court to overturn that divorce order. There is one rule which allows for the court to possibly set the order aside. That has to be done within 30 days. Husband was too late for that.
There is another rule which allows you to see if you can overturn the order within two years. That rule requires that you get back to court as soon as you can.
Husband came up with a lot of reasons that the divorce orders should be stopped. None of his reasons were supported by any evidence that was acceptable to the court. He said that his attorney had withdrawn from the case. Therefore, he had been under duress. He said he did not think there would be a trial on the date he did not come to court. He said that the divorce decree was “unconscionable”. It was totally shocking and should be reversed.
The court said that no exceptional circumstances exist. The court was not prepared to excuse husband for not moving as quickly as he could to come back to court. If husband did not think the divorce orders were fair, why didn’t he say so nine months ago?
In re Marriage of Harnack, 2014 IL App (1st) 121424, November 21, 2014.