In re MARRIAGE OF AARON TODD EASTBURG, Petitioner-Appellee, and ALICIA LYNN EASTBURG, n/k/a Alicia Lynn Condreay, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial Circuit, Knox
County, Illinois. Circuit No. 06-D-114 Honorable Scott
Shipplett, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE SCHMIDT delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice O'Brien concurred in the
judgment and opinion. Justice Carter specially concurred,
1 Aaron Eastburg, petitioner, is obligated to pay child
support to his former spouse, respondent, Alicia Eastburg.
Originally, the parties stipulated to the amount of
Aaron's child support payments. The figure-$511
bimonthly-was calculated at 28% of his net income. The
parties also agreed to equally divide the cost of medical
expenses not covered by insurance for the minors. Alicia
later petitioned to increase Aaron's child support
payments due to increases in his income. After the most
recent petition, the parties stipulated to an increased
payment amount based on Aaron's 2014 net income. Alicia
then sought 28% of Aaron's 2014 federal income tax refund
and a decrease in her obligation for the minors' medical
costs not covered by insurance. The trial court denied
Alicia's requests. She appeals both denials. We affirm.
3 Aaron and Alicia married in 1998. They have two minor
children. The circuit court of Knox County entered a judgment
for dissolution of the marriage in December 2006. Shortly
thereafter, Aaron and Alicia agreed to a joint parenting
order wherein Alicia retained physical custody of the minors,
but both had legal custody. The order established Aaron's
child support payment at $511 bimonthly. The amount allegedly
represented 28% of Aaron's net income. Aaron and Alicia
split the cost of uninsured medical expenses evenly.
4 In October 2014, Alicia filed a motion to modify child
support. She alleged that Aaron's income had increased,
and the trial court's order should be modified to reflect
the change. Alicia further argued she was entitled to a
reduction in her obligation for the minors' uninsured
medical expenses. She averred that covering half of the
expenses placed an inordinate burden on her because of the
increased disparity in their incomes.
5 The parties proceeded to discovery. Aaron produced his
income records, including W-2s and federal income tax returns
from 2012, 2013, and 2014. Aaron intentionally withheld taxes
more than necessary throughout each year and received federal
income tax refunds after his tax obligations were properly
calculated. For tax year 2014, Aaron's federal income tax
refund was $14, 239.
6 Ultimately, Aaron agreed that his net income had increased.
At a hearing in May 2015, the parties stipulated that
Aaron's child support payments would be $721 bimonthly,
applied retroactively to the date Alicia filed her petition.
Alicia's counsel next claimed Alicia was entitled to
precisely $3, 986.92-28% of Aaron's 2014 federal income
tax refund-and a reduction in her obligation for the
minors' uninsured medical expenses.
7 The trial court later issued an opinion letter denying
Alicia's request for 28% of Aaron's 2014 federal
income tax refund. The trial court noted that the parties had
already agreed to an increase in child support payments, and
this was not a case where the payor was "gam[ing] the
system" because his overwithholding "did not affect
the current support computation." The trial court also
denied Alicia's request for a decrease in her uninsured
medical expense obligation. The trial court reasoned that the
parties still had the same employment they had when they
originally agreed to share the cost of uninsured medical
expenses, and the current disparity in their respective
incomes was not so great that equity demanded amending their
8 At Alicia's insistence, the court issued an order based
on its opinion letter. Alicia filed a motion to reconsider
which the trial court denied. Alicia appeals.
10 Alicia argues that under the plain language of section
505(a)(3) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of
Marriage Act (Act) (750 ILCS 5/505(a)(3) (West 2014)), the
trial court erred in finding that: (1) she is not entitled to
28% of Aaron's federal income tax refund; and (2) she is