IRMO Mayfield, 2013 IL 114655, Illinois Supreme Court (May 23, 2013), held that a lump sum worker’s compensation award was income for child support purposes – but only as based on the facts of that case. The case does not say that worker’s compensation awards necessarily constitute income on which support should be based. Instead, the Illinois Supreme Court went out of its way to essentially urge that if the case had been properly presented, it may have been appropriate that there would be a deviation from the minimum support guidelines. The case concluded:
More importantly, Mayfield presented insufficient evidence to warrant a deviation under section 505(a)(2). . . . Mayfield did not testify that [the daughter]’s financial resources; her standard of living if the marriage had not been dissolved; her physical, mental, emotional, and educational needs; or even his own financial resources and needs were such that a downward deviation from the guidelines was appropriate. He provided no details about his injury or his prognosis for future employment, other than the settlement agreement, which stated only that he is “seeking employment [within] his restriction,” but provided telling details about how he spent the settlement. Accordingly, the trial court was correct to set child support at 20% of the lump-sum settlement in the absence of any evidence to support a different amount.
Gunnar J. Gitlin and Stephanie A. Kasten are family lawyers with The Gitlin Law Firm, P.C., a firm dedicated to providing several Illinois counties with quality legal service.