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Marriage of Vilander v. Ormsbee

May 23, 2008; as amended July 8, 2008


Appeal from Shawnee District Court; JEAN SCHMIDT, judge.


1. The interpretation of a statute is a question of law, and our review on appeal of questions of law is unlimited.

2. Numerous provisions of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, adopted by both Kansas and Illinois, are interpreted and applied.

3. Res judicata, encompassing both issue preclusion and claim preclusion, is discussed and found not to apply to the facts and circumstances of this case.

4. The assessment of costs and attorney fees is within the discretion of the trial court, and its determination will not be disturbed on appeal without a showing of abuse of judicial discretion.

5. Under the facts and circumstances of this case, the trial court did not err in including interest in the amount owed for spousal maintenance.

6. Under Illinois law, a "support obligation" is the continuing amount owed until paid in full.

7. "Health insurance premiums" qualify as child support under Illinois law and, therefore, can be recouped as part of an enforcement proceeding. Illinois law makes no distinction between primary health insurance and major medical insurance coverage.

8. Under the facts of this case, where former wife provided an estimate of the costs of major medical coverage for the parties' daughter, and former husband does not contest that amount, the trial court's acceptance of that estimate complied with the requirements of Illinois law.

9. Illinois law requires interest to be awarded in child support cases.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Elliott, J.



David Ormsbee appeals the trial court's order enforcing an Illinois award of spousal maintenance and child support, claiming the addition of attorney fees and interest was an improper modification of the award. He also claims the award of health insurance costs was improper. We disagree and affirm.

Donna Vilander (formerly Ormsbee) and David entered into a marital settlement agreement (agreement) in July 1985. An Illinois trial court incorporated the agreement into its judgment for dissolution of marriage in December 1985.

The agreement required David to pay Donna $75 twice a month between October 1, 1985, and September 30, 1989 (totaling 104 payments). David also pledged to pay $150 in child support every 2 weeks after the birth of their child; he also agreed to 15% of all net bonuses and raises as additional child support.

The parties also agreed on medical coverage for their child. Donna was responsible for the costs associated with routine checkups, minor ailments, and drug supplies. David agreed to pay for the "hospital, surgical, optical, and orthodontia care and for the extraordinary medical and dental care of the parties' child."

The agreement further provided that David obtain and maintain a major medical insurance policy covering possible major medical needs of their child. In this regard, the agreement required that the major medical policy "shall provide coverage to the minimum extent of the existing medical insurance now available through [David's] employment."

David was obligated to maintain the major medical coverage until the couple's child turned 21 and to provide Donna with proof of coverage by providing her with a copy of the policy and any amendments thereto.

In July 2004, David moved to terminate his child support obligation; Donna responded with a motion to enforce the existing child support and maintenance order. David later withdrew his motion, and the matter continued on Donna's motion to enforce.

In February or March 2006, the trial court requested and received an amended request for registration of foreign judgment in July 2006, detailing the order and Illinois statutes being enforced. It was determined that David owed $7,575 in maintenance, plus interest, along with $500 in attorney fees. The court also revived the "issues as to unpaid child support and other items in the nature of child support arising out of the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage."

After hearing and briefs, the trial court ordered David to pay $90,295.25 to Donna. The award covered the following expenses which had accrued since the issuance of the original Illinois order:

Maintenance $21,051.00 (principal = $7,575, interest = $12,976, ...

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