Appeal from Circuit Court of McLean County. No. 93F437, 94F476. Honorable Wayne C. Townley, Jr., Judge Presiding.
Rehearing Denied October 21, 1997. Released for Publication October 21, 1997.
Honorable John T. McCullough, J., Honorable Robert W. Cook, J. - Concur. Honorable Frederick S. Green, J. - Concur. Justice John T. McCULLOUGH delivered the opinion of the court.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mccullough
The Honorable Justice McCULLOUGH delivered the opinion of the court:
In this paternity action, respondent father Garry Turner (respondent) appeals from the judgment of the circuit court of McLean County. The action was commenced by Mary K. Janssen, the mother of Jennifer Marie Janssen (born May 2, 1991) on October 4, 1993. This court entertained an earlier appeal relating to visitation. In re the Parentage of Janssen, No. 4-95-0938 (September 17, 1996) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). The issues in this appeal are whether the trial court erred by (1) awarding retroactive child support to the date of birth; (2) setting the amount of current child support; (3) ordering respondent to pay all of petitioner's attorney fees; (4) directing respondent to provide life insurance on his life for the benefit of Jennifer; (5) directing respondent to pay for dependent medical insurance obtained by petitioner; and (6) directing respondent to pay for petitioner's pregnancy and delivery expenses. No issue is raised concerning the child's parentage. We affirm.
With regard to the issue of retroactive child support, respondent makes two arguments: (1) the relevant statute requires child support to be made retroactive only to the date of service of summons, not to the date of the child's birth; and (2) the awarding of retroactive child support to the date of birth in this case was an abuse of discretion or was against the manifest weight of the evidence. The trial court's order of October 10, 1996, directed respondent to pay child support at the rate of $1,500 per month, with support being retroactive to May 2, 1991. A judgment for retroactive child support was entered in the amount of $62,645, representing retroactive child support at $1,500 per month less a credit for $36,910 for child support payments made by respondent through October 1996. Respondent has waived any argument relating to any discrepancy in these calculations by failing to raise that issue on appeal.
Section 14(b) of the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 (Parentage Act) provides as follows:
"The court shall order all child support payments, determined in accordance with such guidelines, to commence with the date summons is served. The level of current periodic support payments shall not be reduced because of payments set for the period prior to the date of entry of the support order. The Court may order any child support payments to be made for a period prior to the commencement of the action. In determining whether and the extent to which the payments shall be made for any prior period, the court shall consider all relevant facts, including the factors for determining the amount of support specified in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act [(Marriage Act) (750ILCS 5/101 et seq. (West 1994)] and other equitable factors including but not limited to:
(1) The father's prior knowledge of the fact and circumstances of the child's birth.
(2) The father's prior willingness or refusal to help raise or support the child.
(3) The extent to which the mother or the public agency bringing the action previously informed the father of the child's needs or attempted to seek or require his help in raising or supporting the child.
(4) The reasons the mother or the public agency did not file the action earlier.
(5) The extent to which the father would be prejudiced by the delay in bringing the action.
For purposes of determining the amount of child support to be paid for any period before the date the order for current child support is entered, there is a rebuttable presumption that the father's net income for the prior period was the same as his net income at the time the ...