Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 10-F-349 Honorable Linda E. Davenport, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE McLAREN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Zenoff and Schostok concurred in the judgment and opinion.
¶ 1 Respondent, Shangwé P., appeals from the trial court's order related to child support and daycare expenses for his daughter with petitioner, Lacisha H. On appeal, Shangwé argues that the trial court erred by: (1) failing to deduct health insurance premiums in calculating his net income; and (2) ordering him to pay half of the total daycare expenses. We affirm in part and reverse in part, and we modify the amount of child support from $739 per month to $642 per month.
¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND
¶ 3 The following facts are taken from the record and are not in dispute. Shangwé and Lacisha are the father and mother of a daughter, Aaliyah, born January 20, 2010. Pursuant to an agreed order entered on November 7, 2011, the parties share joint custody of their daughter, with Lacisha being the primary residential parent. A temporary order of support was entered at that time, with the issue of permanent support reserved. The trial court also ordered Shangwé to add Aaliyah to his health insurance obtained through his employer. Shangwé complied. The issue of daycare expenses was reserved. On March 12, 2012, a bench trial was held on the remaining issues.
¶ 4 Shangwé has another daughter, Amira, age 12, by a woman other than Lacisha. Shangwé was ordered to pay child support for Amira by the circuit court of Cook County. When calculating child support, the Cook County court deducted from his gross income all health insurance premiums. Under Shangwé's family plan, the premiums were the same whether there was one child or two children on the plan. Thus, the premiums did not increase when Shangwé added Aaliyah to his plan. The premiums for Shangwé, Amira, and Aaliyah were $485 per month.
¶ 5 Shangwé's annual gross income was $74, 000. Regarding the parties' expenses for daycare for their daughter during their respective parenting times, Lacisha spent approximately $133 per week and Shangwé spent approximately $30 per week.
¶ 6 At the time of trial, Lacisha worked part-time, earning approximately $200 per week; $180 net. In addition, Lacisha was an intern and a full-time student who planned on graduating in the summer.
¶ 7 During argument, counsel for Lacisha argued that Shangwé should not "receive credit for the medical insurance premiums since he's already gotten that deduction the first time through with his other child. and it adds nothing to his expenses to add to Aaliyah as an insured under that policy." Counsel for Shangwé argued that nothing in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Act) (750 ILCS 5/101 et seq. (West 2012)) supported the argument set forth by counsel for Lacisha regarding the deduction for health insurance premiums.
¶ 8 On March 12, 2012, after hearing testimony and argument, the trial court ordered that "Shangwé may not deduct the health [i]nsurance premiums paid as he obtained a deduction for same of $485/mo. in [the Cook County case]." The trial court stated, "[t]he problem is [Shangwé] already testified [that health insurance premiums were] taken out when they set child support [for Amira]. So, I have to assume that was correct. So, I can't do it twice." The trial court found that Shangwé's net monthly income was $3, 695 and ordered that "Child Support is 20% or $739 per mo." The trial court also ordered each "party to pay one-half of all day care expenses." Shangwé filed his notice of appeal on April 11, 2012.
¶ 9 II. ANALYSIS
¶ 10 On appeal, Shangwé argues that the trial court erred by failing to deduct health insurance premiums in calculating his net income pursuant to section 505(a)(3)(f) of the Act. 750 ILCS 5/505(a)(3)(f) (2012). Lacisha argues that the trial court properly refused to deduct health insurance premiums, because Shangwé incurred no cost by adding the parties' daughter to the plan.
¶ 11 Section 505(a)(1) of the Act provides that the minimum amount of child support for two children is 20% of the supporting party's net income. 750 ILCS 5/505(a)(1) (West 2012). Section 505(a)(3) of the Act defines "net income" as income from all sources, minus certain deductions, including, inter alia, dependent health insurance premiums (750 ILCS 5/505(a)(3)(f) (West 2012)). The amount of child support is within the discretion of the trial court, and the award will not be disturbed on appeal absent an abuse of discretion. In re Marriage of Carlson-Urbanczyk, 2013 IL App (3d) 120731, ¶ ...