On June 19, 2014 the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the trial court and appellate court in a case where the custodial father was required to pay the noncustodial mother child support. The father was given sole custody of the parties’ two children by an agreement. The trial court required him to pay child support to the mother. In re the Marriage of Turk, 2014 IL 116730. The father earned approximately $150,000 per year and the mother earned $10,000 a year. The trial court ordered the father to pay the mother $600 per month in child support. The father was also required to pay 100% of the children’s expenses not covered by insurance. On appeal, the father argued the trial court did not have the authority under the child support statute (750 ILCS 5/505) to order a custodial parent to pay child support to the noncustodial parent. The appellate court affirmed the decision noting that under that statute either or both parties have a duty to support the child. The appellate court remanded the case for further review regarding the amount of the support to be paid. It was influenced by the great disparity in income between the two parents.
The Illinois Supreme Court in its decision noted that both parents have joint and several obligations to support a child. Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act expressly confers that judges may order either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child to pay an amount reasonable and necessary for the support of the child. In upholding the trial court’s decision to make the custodial parent pay child support to the noncustodial parent, the high court further remanded the issue of contribution to medical and dental costs along with the amount of support.
The Illinois Supreme Court’s decision will have implications on all divorcing spouses where one parent earns significantly more money than the other.