Halle Berry reaches child support agreement

For fathers' rights advocates in Florida and elsewhere, actress Halle Berry's settlement with the father of her 6-year-old daughter over child support payments represents a significant landmark. On June 9, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge approved an agreement whereby the star will pay the child's father $16,000 a month for the child's support in addition to a payment for retroactive support in the amount of $115,000. Berry will also pay the child's tuition, but Berry and the child's father will split the child's health care expenses.

In 2012, Berry and the child's father were involved in a custody dispute when Berry wanted to move her daughter to France. A court refused to give the actress legal permission to move the child out of the United States. High profile cases like this showcase how issues related to child custody and child support are changing.

Child custody is money paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent that's intended to defray expenses associated with food, clothing and similar expenses. In cases where legal custody is jointly shared, one of the deciding factors is the amount of money that each parent is able to contribute as a percentage of net income as well as the amount of time the child spends in each parent's household and the child's special needs. Until recently, mothers were typically the custodial parents and fathers paid the largest amount of child support. With more and more women in the workplace earning high salaries, however, this is changing.

Both parents have a legal responsibility to support their offspring. Halle Berry was never married to her daughter's father, but the obligation to pay child support doesn't depend upon marriage. Custodial fathers have the same rights to child support as custodial mothers. An experienced family law attorney can help fathers and mothers with issues related to child support.

Source: ABC News, "Halle Berry to Pay $16K Each Month in Child Support", June 09, 2014

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