The Trial Court entered a final parenting plan and judgment. The parties were now divorced. Father filed a Motion to Reconsider. He felt that the Court was wrong in certain parenting decisions it had made. The Court denied Father’s motion.

Father also filed a Motion to Reconsider the amount of child support that he was to pay. The law changed to “Income Shares” during the litigation. Father had been ordered to pay child support based on the previous Guideline model for child support. That was 35% of his net income for three children. The Court denied Father’s Motion. Father appealed the Parenting and the Child Support issues.

The parties had shown an ability to resolve issues very amicably. The Court had appointed a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to help with drafting a parenting plan. The final parenting plan stated that “each party shall have the right of first refusal to parenting time with the children when the other parent is unable to exercise his or her parenting time for a period in excess of eight (8) hours.”

Different people have different amounts of time before the right of first refusal kicks in. Father says he believes that 4 hours is more appropriate than 8 hours. Both parties work full time.

The Appellate Court said that 8 hours was reasonable under the circumstances. The court stated it considered all evidence, including the GAL’s report, which analyzed all factors in depth. The Parenting time order allowed both parties a substantial amount of parenting time. There was no evidence that the order was not in the best interest of the parties’ 3 minor children.

The new income shares child support law became effective July 1, 2017. The parties divorce proceedings were concluded just before July 1, 2017. The trial court’s rulings with regard to child support were made under the law applicable at the time.

In re Marriage of Whitehead, 2018 IL App (5th) 170380, March 8, 2018.

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