Child support cases can frequently become complicated in unexpected and even surprising ways. What some may take for a minor detail or presumed fact could actually prove to be the lynchpin of a judge's decision, with thousands, if not millions of dollars at stake between separated parents.
One specific detail that can change the entire nature of a child support agreement is the legal residency of the payment-making, non-custodial parent. As NBA star Chris Bosh recently exemplified, residing in Texas, if only on paper, can be a huge financial boon.
The Miami Heat star scored big this week when an Orlando judge, citing Texas IRS filings, recognized Bosh's official residency in Texas, rather than Florida, where the power forward currently plays basketball. The decision will keep Bosh's child support payments to an ex-girlfriend with whom he has a three-year-old daughter at $2,600 per month.
Bosh's payments would have risen drastically, to $30,000 each month had he been declared a Florida resident and thus been subject to the sunshine state's child support statutes. Bosh will make child support payments to the woman for the next 15 years, which will ultimately total nearly $5 million less under Texas law than they might have been under a Florida residency.
The decision comes as the last development in what has been a three year battle between the separated couple. Bosh himself recently married another woman, and the two have an infant son.
Although Bosh was born and raised in Texas, he has played in Miami for the last three years and reportedly signed an affidavit acknowledging a new $12.5 million Miami Beach home as his primary residence in order to secure a mortgage loan. In spite of these facts, and Bosh's name being recently struck from Texas' voters lists, the case's judge still saw the IRS filings as enough to warrant Texas residency.
Bosh's case makes clear the fact that a child support case can often come down to legal technicality and the persuasiveness of litigation, rather than what might appear to be obvious or common sense. In all family law cases, a skilled attorney can make the difference throughout legal proceedings, having a marked impact on not only parents' income but children's future.
Source: Electronic Urban Report, "Chris Bosh Scores BIG Over Baby Mama," Dec. 5, 2012