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In re Marriage of Perez

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

April 3, 2015

In re MARRIAGE OF STACEY E. PEREZ, Petitioner-Appellant, and ROBERT A. PEREZ, Respondent-Appellee

As Corrected April 3, 2015.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 14th Judicial Circuit, Rock Island County, Illinois. Circuit No. 12-D-487. Honorable Clarence M. Darrow, Judge, presiding.

Steven N. Peskind, of Peskind Law Firm, of St. Charles, for appellant.

Robert Perez, of Colona, for appellee.

JUSTICE CARTER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Holdridge and O'Brien concurred in the judgment and opinion.


Page 1218


[¶1] The petitioner, Stacey E. Perez, appeals from an order of the trial court awarding her and the respondent, Robert A. Perez, equal parenting time under a joint custody order. Stacey also appeals the trial court's decision not to designate her home as the primary residence of the parties' child. We affirm.

[¶2] FACTS

[¶3] On September 14, 2012, Stacey filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. On December 8, 2012, the circuit court entered a temporary order granting the parties joint legal custody of their child, S.P. The temporary order also gave physical custody of S.P. to Stacey with visitation to Robert every other weekend from 6 p.m. on Friday until 6 p.m. on Sunday, all day on Mondays, and on Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Each party agreed to give the other the right of first refusal to have S.P. before a third party was called to care for her.

[¶4] On March 17, 2014, the circuit court held an evidentiary hearing regarding custody, child support, and maintenance. Respondent requested joint legal custody. Petitioner was not opposed to joint legal custody. Each party argued for primary physical custody.

[¶5] The evidence showed that the parties were married on May 22, 2010, at which time both parties were employed. The parties resided in the home Stacey had owned prior to their marriage in East Moline. On October 13, 2010, Stacey was laid off from her position as a pharmaceutical sales representative. She gave birth to S.P. prematurely on November 9, 2010. The parties agreed that Stacey would stay home to care for S.P. and Robert would

Page 1219

financially support the family through his employment. Other than having a part-time job for a few months, Stacey was a stay-at-home mother for two years. The parties separated in May of 2012.

[¶6] After the parties separated, Stacey remained in her East Moline home with S.P. She testified that she was under-employed as a part-time beauty advisor earning approximately $16,000 per year. She applied for over 30 positions in the area and took the only job that had been offered to her. In her previous position as a pharmaceutical sales representative she earned close to $80,000. If she could not secure a better paying position in the area, Stacey would either look for employment within a 100-mile radius or return to school in the area to obtain a nursing degree.

[¶7] Stacey testified that both parties made sure that S.P. was always with one of them, if possible. If both parties were working, S.P.'s paternal or maternal grandparents cared for S.P. Stacey requested primary physical custody of S.P. because S.P. was born and raised in Stacey's home, where S.P and Stacey still reside.

[¶8] According to Stacey, she and Robert have done well working together for S.P.'s best interest. Both parties attended S.P.'s wellness visits. They agreed on the preschool that S.P. will attend and the amount of time she will attend per week. They agreed that when S.P. turned four she would attend the preschool full time. The parties also agreed on S.P.'s extracurricular activities. Both parties had extended families in the Rock Island area that see S.P. multiple times throughout the week. Stacey described S.P. as being happy all day long and very intelligent.

[¶9] During the parties' separation, Robert was living with his parents in Colona. He was employed as a barber for the Illinois Department of Corrections and earned approximately $80,000 per year. Robert worked four days per week, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Tuesday to Friday. He also had the flexibility to change to a five-day schedule of 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Robert testified that when Stacey worked as a sales representative her schedule was somewhat sporadic and she sometimes returned home as late as 8 p.m. Robert indicated that he was a very involved father. ...

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