When a couple in Texas divorces, it's standard procedure to determine whether one spouse will make support payments to the other. If the couple has children, the parent who obtains child custody will usually receive monthly child support payments from the other. The amount of these payments is typically determined using the non-custodial spouse's current income as a guideline.
But because few people retain the same job for the entire length of a child's upbringing, it's common for the non-custodial parent's income to change. When this happens, either parent has the option to seek a modification in the child custody payment amount. This is easier said than done, however, because the other spouse is likely to fight the change.
Hollywood stars and professional athletes are no different from Texas residents in this respect. An athlete who was making millions of dollars per year at the time of the divorce may find himself off the team after a few years. Likewise, an actor who once commanded large sums for his or her performances may find that the contracts aren't coming in as often as they used to. As a result, the high amounts of child support he or she could once afford suddenly become crippling.
That may be the case for Brendan Fraser, star of films including "The Mummy" series and "Journey to the Center of the Earth." He and the mother of his three sons are currently battling over his child custody and alimony payments, which total $900,000 a year. Fraser said in court last week that he is not earning the annual salary he did when that figure was determined. He added that medical issues are putting a further dent in his earning power.
Fraser's ex-wife disputes that claim, arguing that the actor has several movies awaiting release. Her attorney added that as of the end of 2012, Fraser had nearly $25 million in assets. The former couple will continue the court proceedings this week.
Even if you and your ex don't have the net worth of movie stars or professional athletes, you may know what it's like to feel financially suffocated -- either from receiving too little support or paying too much. With the guidance of a family law attorney, you may be eligible for a modification that's more in line with your current earnings and budget.
Source: New York Post, "Ex digging for 'Mummy' $$," Laurel Babcock, Dan Mangan, Feb. 11, 2013