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In re Marriage of Mayfield

Supreme Court of Illinois

May 23, 2013

In re MARRIAGE OF SHANNON MAYFIELD, Appellee,
v.
HOWARD R. MAYFIELD, Appellant.

Held [*]

An ex-husband who took his workers’ compensation award as a lump sum rather than as monthly payments based on his life expectancy could not successfully argue that his obligation to pay 20% of net income as child support should be calculated on the latter rather than the former where he neither requested a deviation from statutory guidelines nor presented sufficient evidence therefor—child support award of 20% of lump sum upheld.

Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Fourth District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Woodford County, the Hon. John B. Huschen, Judge, presiding.

Burt L. Dancey, of Elliff, Dancey & Bosich, P.C., of Pekin, appellant.

David M. Lynch, of Lynch and Bloom, P.C., of Peoria, for appellee.

Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, of Springfield (Michael A. Scodro, Solicitor General, and Diane Potts, Assistant Attorney General, of Chicago, of counsel), for amicus curiae Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Justices JUSTICE THEIS delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Chief Justice Kilbride and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Garman, Karmeier, and Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

THEIS JUSTICE

¶ 1 Howard Mayfield appeals the decision of the appellate court, which affirmed the decision of the circuit court of Woodford County to award his ex-wife, Shannon Dykes, 20% of a lump-sum workers' compensation settlement as child support. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

¶ 2 BACKGROUND

¶ 3 In 1995, Mayfield and Dykes married. They had two children: Zachary and Jessica. In 2003, Mayfield and Dykes divorced. Because Dykes was the custodial parent, the trial court ordered Mayfield to pay $158.50 per week in child support.

¶ 4 In 2004, Mayfield filed a petition to modify child support, asserting that he had been laid off and would apply for unemployment benefits. Dykes responded with a petition for rule to show cause, asserting that Mayfield was in arrears on child support. The trial court denied Mayfield's petition to modify, and granted Dykes' petition for rule to show cause. The trial court found that Mayfield was in arrears by $1, 580 and ordered him to pay an additional $32 per week in child support.

¶ 5 In 2009, Mayfield filed another petition to modify child support because Zachary began living with him. To reflect the new living arrangements, and the parties' respective child support obligations, the trial court ordered Mayfield to pay $37.57 per week in child support.

¶ 6 In 2011, Dykes filed a petition to modify child support because Zachary had reached the age of majority, ending her child support obligation to him. At a hearing on that petition, [1]Mayfield testified that, in 2007, he suffered a workplace injury and, in 2010, he received a lump-sum workers' compensation settlement of $300, 000, which was reduced to $239, 920 after deducting attorney fees and medical expenses. Under section 10.1 of the Workers' Compensation Act, the settlement agreement prorated the lump sum over Mayfield's life expectancy. See 820 ILCS 305/10.1 (West 2010). The settlement agreement stated, "It is the parties['] intent and agreement that this shall constitute the equivalent of monthly payments for the duration of [Mayfield's] life expectancy of 34 years which comes out to ...


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