Legal Memorandum: Court’s standard of review for a circuit court’s award of child support

Issue: Under Illinois law, on appeal what is the standard of review applied to a district court’s award of child support?

Area of Law: Uncategorized
Keywords: ; Standard of Review; Child Support; Award; Abuse of Discretion
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2016

"The amount of a child support award is within the discretion of the trial court and will not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion." In re Marriage of Scafuri, 203 Ill.App.3d 385, 391 (1990). "An abuse of discretion exists only where we can conclude that no reasonable person would take the view adopted by the trial court." In re Marriage of Heroy, 385 Ill.App.3d 640, 651 (2008).

"Calculating [child support] is a two-step process." In re Marriage of Mayfield, 2013 IL 114655, ¶ 16. "The trial court must determine the parties’ income, then apportion that income, setting an amount of child support for the noncustodial parent." Id. "Section 505(a)(3) of the Act governs the first step. It provides a definition of net income, which is the ‘total of all income from all sources, ‘ minus various deductions." Id. (quoting [statref]750 ILCS 5/505(a)(3) (West 2010) [/statref]).

"Section 505(a)(1) and (a)(2) of the Act governs the second step." [statref]Id. ¶ 17[/statref]. "[That section] provides guidelines to help the trial court determine the minimum amount of child support." [statref]Id[/statref]. "The guidelines state that the minimum amount for one child is 20% of the supporting party’s net income." [statref] Id[/statref]. "Section 505(a)(2) provides that the court should apply the guidelines, unless it finds that a deviation from them is appropriate after considering the best interests of the child in light of the evidence presented on several relevant factors." [statref]Id[/statref].

In re Marriage of Weger, No. 5-15-0141, […]

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