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08/03/94 MARRIAGE MARGARET MCGOWAN

August 3, 1994

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF MARGARET MCGOWAN, PETITIONER-APPELLANT, AND GARY P. MCLAUGHLIN, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE.


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable James G. Donegan, Judge Presiding.

Released for Publication September 13, 1994.

Greiman, Tully, Cerda

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Greiman

JUSTICE GREIMAN delivered the opinion of the court:

In determining the amount of child support payable by Respondent, Gary McLaughlin, to Petitioner, Margaret McGowan, the trial court excluded from the statutory guidelines provided in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (the Act) (750 ILCS 5/101 et seq. (West 1992)) certain allowances paid to Respondent by reason of his employment as an active member of the United States armed forces. The trial court also provided a plan for Respondent to pay the arrearage for medical expenses incurred on behalf of the parties' minor child.

Petitioner contends on appeal: (1) the trial court should have included Respondent's military allowances or benefits in determining the amount of child support; and (2) the installment plan for the satisfaction of the arrearage is improper since it requires an interest rate to be imposed upon the balance due from time to time and mandates an excessive period for the payment of the obligation.

We reverse as to the trial court's failure to include the allowancesin the computation of child support, and affirm as to the Disposition of the arrearage.

This opinion is filed pursuant to the provisions of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 23(a)(1). Official Reports Advance Sheet No. 15 (July 20, 1994), R.23, effective July 1, 1994.

In addition to a soldier's base pay, Congress has provided an allowance for quarters to supplement off-base housing expenses (BAQ), a variable housing allowance (VHA) and a basic allowance for subsistence (BAS). The record shows that all of Respondent's military allowances added to his base pay minus his income tax deductions provide him with a monthly income of $2,206.36, which would yield a monthly child support obligation of $441.27 for his and Petitioner's minor child under the relevant statutory guidelines which establish child support payments amounting to 20% of the payor's net income for a single child. (750 ILCS 5/105(a)(1) (West 1992).) The trial court, however, determined Respondent's child support obligation by subtracting his BAQ, VHA and BAS allowances and deducting for taxes to reduce the amount of child support to $282 a month.

The Act defines "net income" in an all-inclusive manner and then specifies the sums excluded from the formula. Section 505(a)(3) of the Act provides:

"(3) 'Net income' is defined as the total of all income from all sources, minus the following deductions:

(a) Federal income tax (properly calculated withholding or estimated payments);

(b) State income tax (properly calculated withholding or ...


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