When your divorce ends, your case is not always necessarily over. There are times after the decree is finalized, where you may have to revisit the case, in order to help your post-divorce recovery.
This action is not about your children, who may be caught in the crossfire of additional fighting between their parents. You do not love them any less, and you should not feel the stigma of modifying the decree, in order to pay less child support.
This also is not an action based on how you feel about your ex-spouse. While they may not be your favorite individual, your finances come before your feelings, and you cannot consistently pay them alimony if the required payments send you into poverty.
The fact is, your post-divorce recovery may require the aid of your family law attorney, helping you through the modification process and proving how necessary it is.
You are not alone in the need to modify your decree. Many who go through the divorce process and are responsible for paying alimony and child support, will go through the modification process, in order to reduce payments. This makes the payments more likely to occur, and the money is more likely to help the recipient and the children.
Alex Rodriguez’s case
Cases related to child support and alimony modification are all over the news. Former Yankees third baseman and current MLB Analyst Alex Rodriguez is currently pursuing decree modification, attempting to adjust the combined amount that he pays in alimony and child support to his ex-wife, Cynthia Scurtis, according to the Page Six.
The couple, divorced in 2008, share two daughters, Natasha, 13, and Ella, 10. Rodriguez has been paying $115,000 a month tax-free child support and alimony since their marriage ended. The agreement stated that the amount would be revisited at the time of Rodriguez’s retirement, which occurred in 2016.
Given that his income has decreased by 90 percent through retirement (from $30 million to approximately $3 million), and his claims that Scurtis is wealthy with multiple homes, cars, a Master’s degree in Psychology, a fiancé, and a new child, she is more capable of providing for herself.
He is looking to adjust it to $20,000 a month plus tuition and child expenses, despite the fact that the expenses for his kids are somewhere between $7,000 and $12,000 a month, according to Rodriguez.
Rodriguez always has been an outspoken supporter of his children, actively disputing reports that he has ever threatened to cut off child support payments, due to a legal dispute with Cynthia Scurtis’ brother, Constantine.
“I have always paid far more than the maximum in child support, and that will never change,” Rodriguez told the New York Post. “My daughters are my number one priority and always will be. It’s highly offensive to me that my former brother-in-law, who has been trying to pursue a frivolous case against me for four years and has gotten absolutely no where with it in court, is misrepresenting my relationship with my daughters to manipulate the public’s opinion.”
Ashley Parker Angel’s case
Rodriguez is not the only celebrity having issues with modification. Former member of the band, O-Town, Ashley Parker Angel, is facing child support issues of his own.
Angel, who now works as a Broadway actor and singer, claims to have injured his back in May 2018, while working on the musical, “Wicked.” According to TMZ, his injury cost him the role, and thus, he was not earning his normal paycheck for two months.
He is looking to reduce his monthly child support payment, which currently is $1,836. Angel claims that the injury to his back resulted in a financial loss of more than $26,000.
Additionally, Angel has stated that his custody agreement with his ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Lynn Rowe, over their 12-year-old son, Lyric, has changed. The child support agreement was made when she had 90 percent custody over their son, according to Angel, but as it currently stands, Angel claims that they split custody 50-50.
Rowe claims that Angel has other sources of income, including a supplement company he launched last year. She claims that he does not save his money efficiently enough for someone that has downtime in his employment.
Assess your finances
Whether you are a celebrity or not, you need to maintain financial stability. Without financial stability, you cannot make payments to anyone for anything, and you will find yourself falling deeper into a hole of debt, which may result in jail time.
You need to assess your current payment responsibility and decide if it is feasible for you. If it is not, then it is imperative that you contact your family law attorney, in order to proceed with the modification process.
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 Joe Cordell.
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.