Beyer V. Parkis

First District Appellate Court – (2001) Held – The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act Allowed The Trial Court To Award Interim Attorney Fees In A Post-Divorce Proceeding. This Holding Was Later Overturned By Amendment Of The Illinois Marriage And Dissolution of Marriage Act As A Result Of This Opinion.

(Leading case on payment of interim attorney fees in post divorce cases)

In re Marriage of Beyer v Parkis 324 Ill.App.3d 305, 753 N.E.2d 1032 (1st Dist. 2001)

In Beyer Attorney Canulli represented Mark Beyer whose former wife was seeking to vacate their Divorce Judgment claiming Mr. Beyer became entitled to receive certain lottery winnings two days before the parties Divorce Judgment was entered and which he failed to disclose to his Wife.

During the proceedings his former Wife sought interim attorney fees from Mr. Beyer under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act (“Act”). The Circuit Court in Cook County, granted her petition and awarded Ms. Parkis interim attorney fees. Following Mr. Beyer’s failure to pay the interim fees, the Circuit Court found Mr. Beyer in contempt of court and sentenced him to jail and thereafter, Mr. Beyer appealed arguing that the provision of Act concerning interim attorney fees did not apply to post-divorce matters such as this. Although the contempt order against Mr. Beyer was vacated, the Appellate Court ruled that interim attorney fees could be awarded in post-dissolution proceedings.

The ruling in Beyer however ultimately prompted the Illinois Legislature to accept the premise of attorney Canulli’s arguments as presented in Beyer and to later amend the Act and to superceed the decision of the Appellate Court.

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