Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Miguel Cabrera fights 'good fortune' child support ruling

One of the Detroit Tigers' most valuable players, Miguel Cabrera, is contesting the amount of child support a Florida judge has ordered him to pay for the two young children he fathered with his mistress.

In his ruling, the judge noted that Cabrera makes $30 million per year, which provides the three children he has with his wife a lavish lifestyle. Based on those facts, the judge said that this is a case where the father's "good fortune" should be shared with all his children.

Accordingly, the judge ordered Cabrera to pay $20,000 per month in child support -- which is not specifically allocated toward anything and can be spent however the mother, who has custody, sees fit. In addition, Cabrera is expected to pay for the children's health care, private schools and other expenses, such as annual passes to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. The judge did not find any of this unreasonable in light of Cabrera's vast wealth and the spending habits on his other children.

Cabrera disagrees. Arguing that the ruling actually favors the mother -- not the children. According to his motion asking the judge to reconsider, the current order of support would allow the mother "to live a luxurious lifestyle." The motion argues that the purpose of child support from the father is not to give the mother an equally lavish lifestyle just because he is blessed with a large income. He has asked the judge to lower the child support obligation to $13,000 a month and drop most of the other terms, including an issue of back-due support.

The final outcome of this case has yet to be decided, but it's a helpful illustration of what can happen when the income of a parent is so far above the norm that the normal child support calculations don't seem to apply. Even if a child support order seems to indirectly benefit the custodial parent, it isn't unusual for a judge to order large dollar amounts for support in such cases.

If you're anticipating a child support battle, it's helpful to get information that's specific to your situation as early as possible. That can lead to an effective strategy later that could ultimately help you in court.

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