Husband was required to buyout the wife’s 50 percent interest in the former marital residence by a certain date. Or, he had to sell the residence by the same date. The husband did neither. Husband lived in the marital residence. He had exclusive possession of the residence. The value of the residence was approximately $1.75 million dollars.
Wife said that after the judgment for dissolution of marriage was entered, Husband was unconcerned about the deadline for putting the residence on the market. He made no efforts to arrange for the necessary repairs that were needed prior to placing the residence on the market. Wife said Husband did not participate much, if at all, in the repair and renovation process.
He finally listed the residence for sale after the list date in the divorce decree. He aggressively negotiated the sale. But, he caused the buyers to walk away from the deal at the last minute.
The wife brought a petition for rule to show cause against the husband. While this was in court, the residence sold. The proceeds were held in escrow. The court said that he had breached the terms of the divorce decree. The court gave the wife judgment interest and attorneys’ fees. The escrow account was split according to the formula in the divorce decree.
Husband appealed. The appellate court agreed that Husband had breached the divorce decree. Husband had caused Wife to have economic losses and other harms. Husband’s conduct in not notifying, discussing, or obtaining Wife’s approval was a reckless and willful failure to abide by the parties’ divorce decree. Husband had repeatedly failed to deal with Wife fairly and in good faith.
The award of attorneys’ fees and judgment interest were enforced against him.
In re Marriage of O’Malley, 2016 IL App (1st) 151118.