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In re Marriage of Adams

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

December 14, 2017

In re MARRIAGE OF SPENCER C. ADAMS, Petitioner-Appellee, and LISA A. ADAMS, Respondent-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit, Grundy County, No. 14-D-162 Illinois. Honorable Robert C. Marsaglia, Judge, Presiding.

          JUSTICE O'BRIEN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Holdridge and Justice Lytton concurred in the judgment and opinion.



         ¶ 1 Respondent mother appealed from a trial court order granting petitioner father's motion to modify parenting time and granting the father the majority of the parenting time.

         ¶ 2 FACTS

         ¶ 3 The petitioner father, Spencer Adams, and the respondent mother, Lisa Adams, were married on May 31, 2003. They had two children during the marriage. A judgment for dissolution of marriage was entered on April 2, 2015, which incorporated the parties' marital settlement agreement and a joint parenting agreement (JPA). The judgment provided that the mother and the father were to have joint legal custody. The mother was to have primary physical and residential custody, and the father was to have secondary physical custody, referred to as visitation. The mother was to have parenting time with the children from 6 p.m. on Sunday until 6 p.m. on Thursday and the father from Thursday to Sunday for the first three weeks of each month. During the fourth week, the mother also had the weekend, subject to visitation with the father on Thursday and the following Monday. The JPA provided that the father would provide all transportation for parenting time exchanges, unless the mother moved more than 75 miles away from Verona, Illinois. In that case, the mother was responsible for transporting the children to within 75 miles of Verona. The provision was modifiable upon a substantial change in circumstances, including if the father moved away from Verona.

         ¶ 4 On August 10, 2016, the father filed a petition to adjudicate indirect civil contempt and an emergency petition to temporarily modify parenting time and a petition to modify parenting time. The father's petition, using the term "parenting time" instead of physical custody and visitation, sought relief under the 2016 amendments to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (Act), 750 ILCS 5/600(e), 602.7 (West 2016). Both petitions alleged that the mother moved the children 324 miles away without the consent of the father and failed to give notice of the relocation and failed to file a petition seeking relocation in accordance with section 609.2 of the Act (750 ILCS 5/609.2 (West 2016) (effective January 1, 2016)). It also alleged that the mother enrolled the children in a school in Belleville without consulting with the father. The father sought a modification of the parenting time, seeking majority parenting time. The father also filed a petition on August 19, 2016, for a temporary restraining order, making the same allegations.

         ¶ 5 The motions were heard on August 19 and 24, 2016. The mother testified that prior to the dissolution, she lived in a home in Verona with the father, their two daughters, and the mother's parents. Just after the dissolution judgment was entered, on April 24, 2015, the mother moved with the two girls to Palatine. After the mother moved, the father would come and pick the children up in Palatine to exercise his visitation. In October 2015, the father moved to Joliet, and then he moved to Ingleside in May 2016. The father did not advise the mother of either of these moves.

         ¶ 6 The mother testified that as of July 2016 she lived with her daughters, her boyfriend, and their son in Palatine. The Chicago office of her employer was closing, and she was offered a job opportunity in St. Louis through her employment that paid more. Her boyfriend worked for the same company and also got a new position in Belleville. He had been in the St. Louis office since April or May of 2016. The mother had been doing some part-time work for the St. Louis office since the beginning of June but was waiting for a new manager in the Chicago office so that she could stay in Chicago. The mother testified that she sent notice to the father on July 29, 2016, that she was moving three days later, on August 1, 2016. The mother testified that she had received the job offer about three weeks prior to the notice sent to the father but she did not inform him of the move until after she had confirmation of the job on July 27. She enrolled the older daughter in private school in Belleville, without the consent of the father, although she contacted him and he told her who to list as emergency contacts.

         ¶ 7 The father testified that he regularly exercised his visitation, including three weeks in the summer. He objected to the mother moving the children to Belleville. Both parents acknowledged, though, that the parenting agreement would change when the older daughter started school in August 2016.

         ¶ 8 The trial court found that the situation was not an emergency, so it denied the petition for contempt, the emergency petition to modify parenting time, and the petition for a temporary restraining order. The trial court set a hearing date on the petition to modify parenting time.

         ¶ 9 A hearing was held on May 1, 2017, on the father's alternative requests for relief on the petition to modify parenting time. Primarily, the father sought a change of majority parenting time. Alternatively, the father sought to enjoin the mother from moving to Belleville. The mother never filed a motion to relocate. At the hearing, the mother testified consistently with her earlier testimony. Additionally, the lease application that she signed for a house in Belleville was admitted into evidence, signed by the mother on June 18, 2016, as a coapplicant with her boyfriend, with a move-in date of August 1, 2016. The lease was signed by both the mother and the boyfriend on July 2, 2016. The mother testified that her boyfriend was going to live in the house but she did not intend to move her daughters to Belleville when she cosigned the lease.

         ¶ 10 The mother's sister, Chelsea Lynn May, testified regarding text conversations that she had with the mother wherein the mother said on June 12, 2016, that she was moving, but the house would not be ready until August 1. Chelsea testified to another conversation on July 1, where the mother said she was taking care of arrangements for work and the upcoming move.

         ¶ 11 The father also testified consistently with the earlier hearing. He testified that he stayed in the marital home in Verona until October 2015, at which time he moved in with his ailing mother in Joliet. He stayed there until he got married in May 2016, moving at that time to Ingleside with his new wife, which was also closer to his daughters in Palatine. The father testified that he asked the mother in mid- to late June, and two other times prior to August 1, whether she was moving and she responded that she was not. When the ...

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