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In Re Marriage of Cook

OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 8, 1986.

IN RE MARRIAGE OF RITA JANE COOK, N/K/A RITA JANE CHELSTROM, PETITIONER-APPELLANT, AND MARVIN COOK, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE.


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Henry County; the Hon. Susan B. Gende, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE STOUDER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The marriage of petitioner-appellant, Rita Jane Cook Chelstrom, and respondent-appellee, Marvin Cook, was dissolved in 1978 and in 1979, Rita Jane was awarded custody of the parties' minor son, James. She was ordered to pay all child-support expenses.

On April 9, 1984, Rita Jane filed a petition for child support which was heard on June 6, 1984. On November 26, 1984, an order was entered ordering Marvin to pay $35 per week for the support of James. Prior to this, on September 10, 1984, Marvin filed a petition for modification of judgment seeking custody of James and providing for visitation rights and financial support from Rita Jane.

On November 26, 1984, custody of James was changed instanter from Rita Jane to Marvin and the parties were ordered to work out a visitation schedule. A written order concerning the change in custody was filed January 2, 1985; however, the question of child support and visitation was reserved. On April 16, 1985, a temporary order was filed directing Rita Jane to pay $17.50 per week child support.

On July 12, 1985, an order was filed which, inter alia, denied Rita Jane's request to rule section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 40, par. 505), unconstitutional, and ordered her to pay $55 per week child support retroactive to January 11, 1985. Following several supplemental proceedings, Rita Jane filed the instant appeal.

Rita Jane presents the following issues for our determination:

(1) whether section 505 is unconstitutional in that it:

(a) is vague and ambiguous;

(b) is an incursion into the judicial branch of the government by the legislature contrary to article II, section 1, of the Illinois Constitution of 1970;

(c) is a denial of due process contrary to article I, section 2, of the Illinois Constitution of 1970;

(d) is a denial of equal protection of the law, contrary to article I, section 2, of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, and the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution;

(e) is invalid and special legislation contrary to article IV, section 13, of the Illinois Constitution of 1970; and

(2) whether the trial court abused its discretion in ordering the petitioner to pay $55 per week child support.

At the onset of our determination of the question of the constitutionality of section 505, we should note that the thrust of Rita Jane's argument is lodged against the 1984 amendment to section 505(a) which established certain support guidelines. ...


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