When child support is decided, it can be difficult for both sides to navigate the social cues of the matter. Given all of the emotions of the divorce experience, what you, as the paying parent, may say may not come out the way that you intended. This is just as valid for the receiving parent, as they may have questions regarding the method of payment, the amount, or the frequency.
The difficulty surrounding the subject is not mitigated when one or both of the parents have some sort of celebrity or fame attached to them. In fact, that type of exposure can make things worse for all involved, especially the children.
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline’s case
One of the higher profile child custody situations that has been watched for years now is between Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. The singer and her ex-husband have been in and out of the headlines since their divorce in 2007.
Mr. Federline retains sole legal and physical custody of their two sons, Sean Preston and Jayden, receiving $20,000 in child support per month.
Recently, Mr. Federline and his attorneys sent a letter to Ms. Spears and her legal team regarding a reexamination of how much child support she sends per month. His party claims that the child support payments were based on a percentage of her income at the time, and now that that her income has increased significantly, she should have to pay a higher percentage.
He stated that he hopes they can reach a private agreement and not affect their co-parenting, which he has stated has become “really easy now.”
Miguel Cabrera’s case
Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera has similar issues regarding changes desired in child support orders. Belkis Mariela Rodriguez, mother of two of Mr. Cabrera’s sons, is seeking a raise in child support from the $12,000 per month that he was, for a time, paying her.
Ms. Rodriguez claims that the payments were reduced last year, and Mr. Cabrera is contesting the request for additional compensation, stating that her lifestyle should be of the same level as the one he shares with his wife and three other children.
Ms. Rodriguez’s attorneys are utilizing Florida child support laws that state that parents making $10,000 or more per year must pay 7.5 percent in child support. Given that Mr. Cabrera stands to make almost $300 million by the time his contract ends in 2023, this could result in Ms. Rodriguez being awarded more than $2 million per year.
Ms. Rodriguez was granted temporary relief by a county circuit judge, and the next hearing in the case is set for June 4.
Aldon Smith’s case
In addition to Mr. Cabrera, many other professional athletes face similar struggles dealing with child support laws and how it interacts with their contracts. Suspended former Oakland Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith is among those struggling with keeping up with the payments.
Mr. Smith has been suspended since November 2015, as a result of a hit-and-run while driving under the influence. He is supposed to pay $9,007 per month in child support payments, which were based on his income in 2013, when he still was with the San Francisco 49ers.
He is said to owe at least $79,000 in child support payments, and given his lack of income, he has fallen behind.
Despite his filing for reinstatement in October 2016, there is no timetable for a decision from the NFL, and he was released by the Raiders on March 5, 2018.
While the amounts of money may be drastically different than that of the average parent who pays or receives child support, the idea of increases and disputes over amounts is universal.
Whether you are a professional athlete or a profession that does not include fame, if you are paying child support outside of what is financially feasible for you, you need to contact your family law attorney and go through the proper legal channels, in order to get the monthly amount reduced.
There are many flaws within the child support system, but you and your children’s financial future should not be jeopardized by them.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.