Divorced mother petitioned for modification of child support. The Trial Court entered an order increasing Father’s child support obligation.

Father appealed. The Appellate Court held that the increase in father’s available income resulting from the termination of spousal support and car payments on wife’s vehicle was contemplated by the original divorce decree.  Therefore, it did not constitute the “substantial change in circumstances” required to modify child support.

In order to establish a substantial change in circumstances, the petitioning party must show an increased ability of the supporting spouse to pay.  And Petitioner must show an increase in the needs of the children since the previous order.

Here, the trial court found that a substantial change in circumstances had occurred as a result of the termination of maintenance and car payments to Mother. The increase in Father’s available income to pay child support following the termination of maintenance and car payments did not constitute a substantial change in circumstances.  These events were contemplated and expected by the court when the judgment for dissolution of marriage was entered.

IRMO Hughes, 322 IllApp3d 815