Child support skyrockets for wealthy women

The affluent women of Minnesota and around the country are likely to be court-ordered to pay large child support payments to their exes. If a woman's career means that she earns most of the household income and her relationship ends, a judge may decide the issue of child custody and support. Like actress Halle Berry, the woman may be required to be the major supporter of the couple's children.

Berry's child support was agreed upon and set at $16,000 in monthly payments, which she pays to the father of her daughter. The two have joint custody of the 6-year-old, but Berry also pays $30,000 each year for the child's private education and shares health care costs with her ex. This might sound excessive, but at roughly $200,000 per year, it may only be a small percentage of her annual income.

In a study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than half of the family law attorneys whom they asked about trends in child custody and support mentioned an upsurge in the number of women now mandated to pay child support. This seems true even when couples share custody. The laws are impartial and do not deviate according to gender, so the parent earning the highest wage typically pays child support. Family court judges generally are concerned with the best interests of the children, who have a right to a high rate of support if a parent has a rewarding career.

When couples split up, there are many issues that need to be resolved. If child support and custody discussions become a problem, divorces attorneys for each parent might help negotiate a reasonable settlement. These attorneys could explain how things work in the court systems and help the parents come up with a suitable custody arrangement.

Source: MainST., "Halle Berry Child Support Settlement Escalates Battle of the Sexes", Juliette Fairley, June 30, 2014

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