Florida, like every state, has a set of guidelines for calculating child support. This mathematical formula works well for many situations, but it has the potential to be less appropriate when it comes to cases in which the supporting parent is an extremely high-income earner. High earners from other states, like Britney Spears and the NBA’s Blake Griffin, are celebrities who are currently involved in child support cases in which their multi-million dollar earnings are a key part of the case. If you are a high earner in this state, it is very important to make sure that you have knowledgeable Florida child support counsel to handle your case and protect your rights.
NBA superstar Blake Griffin was in a multi-year-relationship with a former USC women’s basketball player until recently. The couple had two children together, Ford and Finley. In 2017, though, the couple’s relationship ended for good. The mother of Griffin’s children sued in a California superior court. In her action, the woman sought child support for the two children, according to a BET report. The woman’s legal action asked the judge to order child support based upon Griffin’s salary. The NBA star recently signed a contract extension for more than $173 million and makes $29.5 million this season, with that number gradually increasing to $36.5 million in the 2020-21 basketball season.
Singing star Britney Spears also made headlines due to a child support dispute. The father of her two children, Kevin Federline, has full custody of both boys. The father has argued that a change in Britney’s finances warranted an increase of child support. Britney’s recently concluded Las Vegas residency grossed in excess of $137 million. The singer’s children currently receive $20,000 per month in child support from their mother, AOL reported.
Blake Griffin isn’t the first NBA star to become embroiled in a child support legal action recently, either. In 2016, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued a ruling in the child support case of another NBA star, Kenneth Faried. Faried, of the Denver Nuggets, went to college at a small university in Kentucky. While there, he fathered a child by a schoolmate. The parents ended up in litigation over child support, as the mother sought support in an amount more than twice what the father believed was appropriate. The courts ultimately ruled for the mother, concluding that an upward deviation from the child support guidelines (to award an amount of support above what the guidelines otherwise would have dictated) is permissible if the parent seeking support can show that the amount reflects the child’s actual needs.
While all of these celebrity child support cases went (or are going) forward in courts outside Florida, there are still issues that Florida parents can take away from them, especially if you are a Florida parent who is a very high earner. Florida’s child support guidelines are notably different from Kentucky’s. In this state, it is more common for the guidelines to yield a result well in excess of the child’s need when the supporting parent is a very high earner, thus forcing the supporting parent to request a downward deviation from the guidelines. The key that any high-income earner should note is that he or she must bear the burden of proof if he or she is the one who has requested the deviation from the guidelines. In 1998, the Florida Supreme Court upheld a downward deviation from the guidelines for the child of an Orlando Magic player, Dennis Scott. Scott’s support obligation was set at $5,000 per month, well below the guidelines amount of $10,000 per month. Scott obtained the downward deviation because he had evidence in his case that showed that $10,000 was vastly in excess of the child’s actual needs.
As a high earner, you may have the ability to pay a vast sum in child support, but such a large sum may not be appropriate because it may be far more than what is needed to meet all of the child’s needs. To make sure that the child support you’re ordered to pay is fair to all involved, make sure you’re represented by skilled Florida counsel. Knowledgeable Miami child support attorney Sara Saba has been providing strong and dependable advocacy for her child support and other family law clients for more than 13 years. Contact us online or by calling (305) 450-8009 to schedule your consultation. Hablamos Español.
More blog posts:
Multi-Million Dollar Appreciation of Florida Husband’s Stock Portfolio Was 100% a Marital Asset Because He Lacked Evidence Proving Otherwise, Miami Divorce Lawyer Blog, March 6, 2018
Music Star Mary J. Blige’s Husband is Back in Court, Seeking an Increase in Alimony, Miami Divorce Lawyer Blog, Feb. 23, 2018