Father filed a motion in court after the divorce had taken place. He asked that his child support obligation be reduced.  The parties had three children.  Father’s current child-support obligation was approximately $3,200 per month. The court granted his request. Mother appealed.

Father needed to prove that a ‘substantial change of circumstances’ had happened. Since the original court order at the time of divorce.   But, Father’s reduced income had happened before the divorce had even taken place.  So, Mother argued that there was no substantial change of circumstances since the divorce.

Father had a computer side business. Father testified that he was no longer running the computer business. He had stopped running it during the divorce. It was not making any money. Nonetheless, he kept putting lots of hours into it. He had not attempted to sell the business. He did not think that it had any value.

The court saw that the change in circumstances had actually occurred before the divorce took place. The divorce decree had said Father’s computer business income was $78,000 for that year. Now, the court said that number had been incorrect. So, Father’s present net income was far less than what the divorce court thought.

The Appellate Court found that a substantial change of circumstances had taken place since the divorce. The court said that Father’s decision to terminate the computer side business was made in good faith.

In re Marriage of Sorokin, 2017 IL App (2d) 160885, August 8, 2017.

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