The husband and wife were married in Illinois. They were divorced in Connecticut. The husband was ordered to pay child support and also to pay spousal support (maintenance) for four years.  The maintenance was reviewable (longer than the four year period) if wife’s multiple sclerosis worsened.

Parties later separately relocated to DuPage County.  The husband went to court and enrolled the orders from Connecticut. This allowed the Illinois court to act on those orders.

Husband’s filed a motion to modify child support and maintenance in the Illinois court.  Husband said that he moved to DuPage to be closer to his children. He also said that his income in Illinois was less than it had been when the orders were entered. The Illinois court granted his modification request. It reduced his child support and his maintenance amounts, but extended the time period for paying maintenance.

Wife later filed a filed a petition for a rule to show cause, saying that husband had failed to pay maintenance.  Husband argued now that only Connecticut can modify the maintenance order, as Connecticut had issued the original maintenance order. The court disagreed with husband and enforced the order for maintenance.

Husband appealed.  The Appellate Court stated that as long as a matter brought before the trial court does not fall within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the supreme court, the trial court has subject-matter jurisdiction to consider it.  The Appellate Court dismissed husband’s claims that Illinois had no power to modify the Connecticut maintenance order.

Husband’s motion to reduce support was labeled, “Motion to Modify Child Support.” However, husband had alleged that his “spousal and child support obligations should be modified”. He asked the court to modify his spousal and child support obligations consistent with his current income. Therefore, the Appellate Court rejected husband’s claim that the trial court’s modification of maintenance was “inexplicable.” The record clearly establishes that husband requested such modification.

In re Marriage of Armstrong, 2016 IL App (2d) 150815, December 29, 2016, DuPage Co.

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