IN RE MARRIAGE OF Kris M. IZZO, Petitioner-Appellee, and Robert J. IZZO, Respondent-Appellant.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
from the Circuit Court of Du Page County, No. 07-D-2; the
Hon. Robert E. Douglas, Judge, presiding
Margaret Keane and Dina Warner, of Berger Schatz, LLP, of
Chicago, for appellant.
M. Smit, of The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., of Wheaton, for
JUSTICE JORGENSEN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Zenoff and Burke concurred in the judgment
¶ 1 In
August 2017, respondent, Robert J. Izzo, petitioned to reduce
his $6500 monthly child-support obligation to petitioner,
Kris M. Izzo. He argued that a substantial change in
circumstances had occurred since the entry of the most recent
support judgment, which was the original judgment dissolving
the parties' marriage nine years prior. Robert set forth
the following bases for a substantial change: (1) he had
increased his share of overnight custody from 15% to 45%; (2)
Kris had experienced an increase in wealth and income; and
(3) he was forced to retire and is no longer earning income
from employment. The court rejected each of these bases,
explaining that (1) Robert's increased share of custody
was too remote, having occurred five years after the original
judgment but four years before the petition to modify; (2)
Kris's increase in wealth was anticipated at the time of
the original judgment; and (3) Robert's retirement was
entirely voluntary. Robert appeals.
¶ 2 We
hold that the trial court made an error of law when it found
the change in custody to be too remote to constitute a
substantial change in circumstances. The circumstances at the
time of a petition to modify must be measured against the
circumstances at the time of the most recent support
judgment, not against the circumstances at some time between
the two events. The change in custody alone is enough to
establish a substantial change in circumstances justifying a
reduction in the child-support amount. Therefore, we need not
consider the additive effects, if any, of
the other changes Robert alleged to establish a substantial
change. We reverse the trial court's judgment and remand
for a determination of the proper child-support amount in
light of the change in custody. On remand, in setting the new
support amount, the trial court can consider Kris's, as
well as Robert's, wealth and Robert's retirement.
¶ 3 I.
Robert and Kris married in 1988. They had three sons: R.I.
(born in 1990), E.I. (born in 1994), and B.I. (born in 2004).
Kris petitioned for divorce in 2007, and the trial court
entered a judgment of dissolution in August 2008, which
incorporated the parties' marital settlement agreement
and joint parenting agreement. At the time of the divorce,
Robert worked for Chase Bank and earned $1.6 million annually
from employment. In some, but not all, of the years
immediately preceding the divorce, his income from all
sources exceeded $2 million annually. Kris did not work
outside the home, although she had previously worked as an
¶ 5 The
marital estate contained approximately $10 million in assets.
The dissolution judgment ordered a 60/40 split in Kris's
favor of $7.5 million in nonretirement assets and a 50/50
split of $2.5 million in retirement assets. Thus, Kris's
property award was approximately $5.75 million and
Robert's was approximately $4.25 million.
¶ 6 In
addition, Robert paid Kris an $850,000 lump sum in lieu of
maintenance. The judgment noted that the lump sum would
further enable Kris to support herself. It also instructed
that each party was to inform the other of his or her place
¶ 7 The
judgment set forth the following custody arrangement. R.I.,
who was 17 and nearly emancipated, lived primarily with
Robert. E.I., who was 14, split his time equally with both
parents, both of whom lived in Naperville. B.I., who was 4,
spent 12 of 14 nights with Kris and the other 2 with Robert.
B.I. also spent Wednesday evenings (with no overnights) and
alternating Saturday afternoons with Robert.
¶ 8 The
judgment ordered Robert to pay Kris $6500 monthly in child
support, for B.I. only. The judgment reserved the question of
support as to R.I. and E.I. Robert was solely responsible for
providing all of the children with health insurance and
paying for extraordinary medical expenses. The parties were
to equally split costs associated with ordinary medical
expenses, education, extracurricular activities, and child
care. Each party would be responsible for day-to-day costs,
such as food, clothing, and shelter, when a child was in his
or her home.
¶ 9 In
September 2008, Robert moved to reconsider the judgment. He
alleged that, after the judgment was entered, his supervisor
at Chase informed him that he would not be retained in his
present position. Either he would lose his job entirely or he
would be placed in a new position with a substantial
reduction in income. The trial court denied the motion.
Robert appealed. See In re Marriage of Izzo, No.
2-08-0934, 369 Ill.Dec. 97, 985 N.E.2d 1083 (2009)
(unpublished order under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 23).
This court affirmed, holding that the information concerning