Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Marriage of Armstrong

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District

December 29, 2016

In re MARRIAGE OF LUANNE ARMSTRONG, Petitioner-Appellee, and MARK ARMSTRONG, Respondent-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 03-MR-422 Honorable Linda E. Davenport, Judge, Presiding.

          JUSTICE McLAREN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Schostok and Spence concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          McLAREN, JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 Petitioner, Luanne Armstrong, and respondent, Mark Armstrong, married in October 1993, in Illinois. Two children were born of the marriage. In July 2002 a Connecticut court ordered the dissolution of the parties' marriage, and in February 2003 the same court ordered Mark to pay child support and "spousal support, " or maintenance.[1] Shortly thereafter, the parties relocated to Du Page County, Illinois, and the circuit court of Du Page County granted Mark's petition to enroll the Connecticut judgments. A few months, later Mark moved to modify child support and maintenance. In July 2003, the trial court issued an order lowering the amount of child support and maintenance but extended the time period that Mark was obligated to pay maintenance. In March 2014, Luanne filed a petition for a rule to show cause, alleging that Mark had failed to pay maintenance. Mark filed a motion to dismiss Luanne's petition and to vacate the trial court's July 2003 order as void for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The trial court denied Mark's motion. Mark appeals, arguing that the trial court's July 2003 order is void for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, because only Connecticut, as the issuing state, has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify a maintenance order. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 2 In October 1993, Luanne and Mark were married in Cook County, Illinois. They had two children: a daughter, born on October 2, 1995, and a son, born on March 15, 1998. The parties divorced in Connecticut. The Connecticut court bifurcated the issues. On July 25, 2002, the court ordered the dissolution of the parties' marriage, granted the parties joint legal custody of the children, designated Luanne as the primary physical custodian of the children, authorized Luanne to relocate to Illinois, and approved and ordered a stipulated parenting plan. On February 10, 2003, the court ordered Mark to pay child support and maintenance for four years, reviewable, inter alia, if Luanne's multiple sclerosis worsened.

         ¶ 3 Shortly thereafter, Luanne and the children relocated to Du Page County. In March 2003 Mark moved to Du Page County, and in April 2003 he petitioned the trial court to enroll the Connecticut judgments. On April 28, 2003, the trial court granted Mark's petition to enroll the Connecticut judgments, finding that it had "jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter herein."

         ¶ 4 On May 6, 2003, Mark moved to "modify his spousal and child support obligations consistent with his current income, " alleging that "he moved to Illinois to be close to his children, " that he "obtained new employment in Illinois, " and that "his new income was less than the income for which the current support order was entered." Mark specifically alleged that his "spousal and child support obligations should be modified."

         ¶ 5 On July 23, 2003, the trial court lowered Mark's child support and maintenance obligations. However, the trial court extended the period for Mark's maintenance obligation, ordering that maintenance "shall terminate upon the death of either party and further order of court, i.e., it may be subject to earlier modification or termination other than either parties' [sic] death."

         ¶ 6 On November 19, 2013, Luanne filed a petition for contribution to college expenses for their children. Luanne also filed a petition for an increase in child support. On February 27, 2014, Mark filed a motion to reduce child support.

         ¶ 7 On May 14, 2014, Luanne filed a petition for a rule to show cause as to why Mark should not be held in indirect civil contempt for failure to pay maintenance pursuant to the trial court's July 23, 2003, order.[2]

         ¶ 8 On December 10, 2014, in response to Luanne's petition for a rule to show cause, Mark filed a combined motion to dismiss and vacate. Count I sought dismissal of Luanne's petition for a rule to show cause, pursuant to section 2-619(a)(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-619(a)(1) (West 2014)), arguing that Luanne's petition was based on a void order. Mark argued that the trial court's July 23, 2003, order was void for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, because, under section 211(b) of Illinois's version of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (Family Support Act) (750 ILCS 22/211(b) (West 2014)) and Connecticut's version of the Family Support Act (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-212h(f)(1) (2013)), Connecticut had continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify its original maintenance order. Mark argued that, therefore, the petition should be dismissed because the court could not enforce a void order.

         ¶ 9 Count II sought dismissal of Luanne's November 12, 2014, petition for a rule to show cause, which was voluntarily dismissed. Thus, we need not discuss this count.

         ¶ 10 Count III sought to vacate the trial court's July 23, 2003, order, pursuant to section 2-1401(f) of the Code (735 ILCS 5/2-1401(f) (West 2014)). Mark argued that the order was void for lack of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.