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Melissa A. Featherston

Supermodel, billionaire dad reach child support agreement

In Missouri and elsewhere, a judge may require the non-custodial parent in a child custody arrangement to pay child support to the custodial parent. Child support provides the custodial parent with the means to raise the child or children in a secure and supporting environment. In determining the amount a non-custodial parent should pay, a judge may decide to use a fraction of their salary as a baseline.

That may help to explain why Linda Evangelista, a renowned supermodel, was requesting so much in child support from her son's father when the two went back to court earlier this month. According to news reports, she was reportedly seeking more than $46,000 a month to cover expenses relating to raising her son, although she has denied this. While that amount is certainly large, it may well be just a small fraction of the monthly income of her son's father, who is a billionaire.

In this case, the 5-year-old son's father did not even acknowledge paternity until 2009, two years after the boy was born. His attorneys have also disputed the amount that Evangelista is requesting, saying that her request includes expenses relating to herself in addition to her son. Nonetheless, the two sides were able to come to reach a settlement agreement on May 7.

The details of that agreement have not been disclosed, but due to the father's generous income, it may well be that his required child support payments will be relatively high.

Most Missouri residents do not earn millions of dollars a year, but many caught in a custody dispute may well find themselves paying a proportion of their salary in child support that they consider high or otherwise unfair. On the other hand, the custodial parent may believe that the court-ordered child support payment is not enough to adequately cover expenses. When such disputes arise it may be possible to hammer out an agreement either in court or through a series of negotiations.

Source: ABC News, "Linda Evangelista Settles Child Custody Case," Luchina Fisher and Suzanne Yeo, May 7, 2012

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