The MSA provided that each year the parties would conduct a “true-up”. It would be based on husband’s tax documents. The true-up would determine if he paid the proper amount of support in the prior year.

Subsequently, husband filed a motion to modify child support. He asked the court to reduce his monthly support obligation and calculate true-up amounts for the years 2015, 2016, and 2017.

The Trial Court used the definition of net income in the IMDMA (Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act) and not the MSA. Wife appealed.

Wife contends that the trial court, in calculating the true-up amounts for 2015, 2016, and 2017, erred by departing from the particular definition of “net income” in article 3.5(b) of the MSA and instead applying the definition of “net income” in section 505(a)(3) of the Act.

The Appellate Court found that the true-up provisions of the MSA were not consistent with the “net income” concept in Section 505(a)(3) of the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

Case law demonstrates that courts have no discretion to depart from
section 505(a)(3)’s definition of “net income.”

The Appellate Court determined that the Trial Court should have struck the need for true-ups without conducting the true-ups.

The wife’s loss of the safeguard/windfall of these true-up provisions was itself a substantial change in circumstances. Therefore, it would appropriate to revisitthe support issue.

It was wife’s burden to request that the trial court depart from the default rule that each party bear his or her own litigation costs. But, wife did not file a contribution petition.

In re Marriage of Solecki, 2020 IL.App.(2d) 190381 (August 13, 2020).

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