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In re Marriage of Hassiepen - 269 Ill. App. 3d 559, 207 Ill. Dec. 261, 646 N.E.2d 1348 (1995)

Rule:

Modification of a child support obligation must be based upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/510(a). Also, the determination of whether to modify a support obligation lies within the sound discretion of trial court, and this decision will not be overturned on appeal absent an abuse of that discretion.

Facts:

The mother requested an increase in child support and the father responded with a motion to modify custody. The trial court found that the mother had interfered with the father's visitation rights and granted a limited retroactive child support increase and only a small portion of the attorney's fees requested by the mother. The mother appealed.

Issue:

Is the judgment denying the request for the continuance of child support proper?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The court determined that it was error for the trial court to deny the mother's request for a continuance of the support hearing when the father provided updated financial data just prior to the hearing without giving the mother the opportunity to analyze it. Although neither party has clean hands regarding their dealings with each other, the record indicates that the father’s conduct was particularly egregious regarding disclosure of financial information pertaining to the issue of child support. He considerably delayed answering all discovery questions regarding his financial situation despite the mother’s repeated demands for that information.

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