Determining child support can be one of the more contentious parts of a divorce. It can take weeks or months to nail down all the details to ensure your child will be taken care of properly. You and your spouse must take all possible issues into account, and even then, things might change down the road, calling for a modification in your order.
You might think that celebrities – like actors, performers, or sports legends – might not have to worry about child support much. After all, they have a lot of money, right? However, celebrities are just like us and struggle with child support orders too. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent and expensive celebrity child support rulings.
Singer and talk show host Kelly Clarkson pays $45,000/month to ex-husband Brandon Blackstock for their two children. One of the more interesting parts of their child support agreement is that Clarkson agreed to pay for private air travel for the children until they are fully vaccinated, making a $50,000 reimbursement travel payment to Blackstock. This illustrates the different issues you can put in your child support agreement.
Rapper Nas was paying his ex-wife Kelis $40,000/month in child support and alimony payments for their son. However, Kelis requested more as she feels the $8,000/month in child support alone isn’t enough. A Los Angeles County judge raised the total payment to $51,000/month, but the two continue to battle in court.
Actor Charlie Sheen was paying child support to two different ex-wives. “In 2006, Sheen was ordered to pay $55,000 per month in child support to Richards for their two daughters, Sam and Lola. In 2011, Sheen was ordered to pay an additional $25,000 per month in child support to Mueller for their twin sons, Bob and Max.” However, in 2016, he petitioned the court to have his payments lowered and was successful. Then, in 2021, he petitioned the court again that the payments were no longer necessary as his daughters were living with him full-time. The court agreed, but he is still responsible for 50% of their educational and medical expenses.
Baseball legend Alex Rodriguez was ordered to pay $115,000/month in child support for his two daughters when he got divorced from his wife Cynthia Scurtis in 2008. “In 2018, Rodriguez filed a motion to have the payments lowered, citing his reduced income since retiring from baseball. However, Scurtis’s lawyers argued that the payments should remain the same, as they were based on Rodriguez’s income at the time of the divorce.” This case is still pending.
Nick Cannon, who has 12 children with four different women, takes a non-traditional approach to child support and pays out approximately $3 million a year to his children. He states he has a non-formal agreement with each child’s mother and pays for the children’s needs as they arise. “Cannon apparently doesn’t believe in the traditional child support system. He wants to be a hands-on father and provide for his children directly. He also believes that the traditional child support system can be unfair to fathers, as it can often leave them feeling like they’re being punished for having kids in the first place.”
This may work for Cannon and his family, but it is important to remember that in the event Cannon falls behind on his child support obligations, his children’s mothers may not have a legal document to fall back on.
High-income child support in San Antonio and the child support guidelines
Typically, child support is calculated using the Texas Monthly Child Support Calculator. However, these guidelines are specifically designed to apply to monthly net resources not greater than $9,200. So what happens if you make more than that? In this case, under Texas child support law, the court (and the parents) can deviate from the guidelines when the child’s needs are proven to be more than the guidelines set forth, and it is proven to be in the best interest of the child to deviate.
In a high-income divorce, where monthly resources exceed $9,200/month, spouses may want to attend mediation or negotiation in order to come up with a number that properly meets the child’s needs. Remember, this doesn’t mean maintaining a certain lifestyle for the parent. However, it can mean maintaining a comfortable and safe living environment for the child. It’s important to work with an experienced San Antonio family law attorney when determining child support that goes beyond Texas state guidelines to ensure both you and your child are being treated fairly.
Factors in determining child support in San Antonio
Whether you use the child support guidelines or work with an attorney to determine the proper amount of child support, the courts look at a variety of factors:
- Income of the parents. The primary factor in calculating child support is the income of both parents. The court considers the gross income of the noncustodial parent, which includes wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, and other sources of income. The court may also consider imputed income if one parent is intentionally unemployed or underemployed.
- Number of children. Child support amounts vary based on the number of children who need support. As the number of children increases, the total child support obligation generally increases.
- Custodial arrangement. The amount of time each parent spends with the child (custodial arrangement) affects the child support calculation. If one parent has primary physical custody (custodial parent), and the other parent (noncustodial parent) has visitation, the noncustodial parent typically pays child support to the custodial parent.
- Healthcare costs. Health insurance premiums and other medical expenses for the child, including dental and vision care, are factored into the child support calculation.
- Childcare costs. Childcare expenses, such as daycare or after-school care, are also considered in determining child support obligations.
- Support for other children. If a parent is supporting other children from a different relationship, this may be considered a factor in the child support calculation.
- Medical needs. If the child has special medical needs or requires ongoing medical treatment, this can affect the child support calculation.
- Educational expenses. Educational expenses, including tuition, books, and extracurricular activities, can be considered when calculating child support.
- Travel expenses. If the noncustodial parent incurs significant travel expenses to exercise visitation rights, this may also be considered in the calculation.
It’s important to note that the child support guidelines in Texas are intended to provide a consistent approach to determining child support amounts. Courts typically use these guidelines as a starting point for calculations. However, judges have some discretion to deviate from the guidelines if certain circumstances warrant a different amount. The child’s best interest are always the primary goal.
If you are involved in a high-income divorce and are concerned about child support, talk to the San Antonio attorneys at Grable Grimshaw, PLLC today. We can help you understand your rights and come up with a child support plan that serves your entire family. To schedule an appointment, call our offices or fill out our contact form today.