As one Illinois couple is finding out, when a marriage ends, sorting out the details can sometimes be a complicated process. When one of the parties is unable to be located, it makes a potentially unpleasant event that much more difficult. In this case, the ex-husband's lawyers are trying to challenge trial court orders issued during his divorce, but they may have some trouble due to the man's absence from the jurisdiction.
There are at least three points of contention in this matter. The man did not agree to a change in the grounds for divorce to mental cruelty during the trial, a change prompted by the couple's failure to waive separation requirements in order to claim irreconcilable differences. Because his lawyers could not object to the change, they question whether the couple is actually divorced, even though the divorce was final earlier this year. After the man left the country, a trial court valued the marital estate at $55 million based on a finding that he held an interest in a company in the Cayman Islands. Because of his absence, the court entered a default judgment in the amount of $18 million to his ex-wife.
The man's lawyers are seeking to get this order as well as a civil contempt order overturned by an Illinois appellate court. They do not know where he is, however, and the ex-wife's lawyers argue that he should have to return to the jurisdiction if he wants to challenge the trial court's rulings.
Ending a marriage, particularly where there are significant assets involved, can often be complicated. Seeking the counsel of a family law attorney may be helpful in ensuring that the interests of a client are protected.
Source: Chicago Sun Times, "Runaway groom’s court fight goes on", Mark Brown, December 07, 2013