Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Agreed Orders

Can a party vacate an agreed order? That was the question answered by the court in Rolseth v. Rolseth, 907 N.E.2d 897 (Ill.App. 2 Dist. 2009), which originated out of Kane County.

In that case, the former husband petitioned to declare the nonexistence of a parent-child relationship between him and two of his former wife's children for whom he had been paying child support. That petition was resolved by way of an agreed order. Thereafter, the former wife filed a motion to vacate the agreed order. Her motion was denied and she appealed.

The appellate court noted that an agreed order is not an adjudication of the parties' rights, but rather a record of their private, contractual agreement. The court further noted that once an agreed order is entered, it is generally binding on the parties and cannot be amended without the consent of each party.

There are exceptions to that general rule, however. After a discussion of the case law and statutes dealing with modifying and vacating agreed orders, the court held that agreed orders may be modified or vacated only upon a showing that meets the standard applied to Section 2-1401 petitions, which require a showing of a meritorious defense or claim as to the underlying issue.

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