Marc Anthony's Child Support Woes

The provision of full and frank financial disclosure is a necessity for all parties going through a Divorce, and particularly for support payors.

Often, failure to produce such disclosure when requested can cause delays, drive up legal costs, and spur on litigation.

Unfortunately, many family law parties are guilty of a failure to accurately and fully disclose their financial situation, and apparently Marc Anthony, Latin music sensation, is no exception.

According to TMZ, Anthony has finally disclosed his income in his matrimonial proceedings with his ex, Dayanara Torres, a former Miss Universe. This disclosure comes ten years after an Order for child support and alimony (spousal support) was made in the Dominican Republic.

Anthony and Torres married in 2000 and have two sons, Christian and Ryan, born in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Their divorce was finalized in 2004, just one week before Anthony married Jennifer Lopez.

In 2012, Torres moved from the Dominican to Los Angeles, where she had to file the parties' support Order with the court so that it could be enforced in the State of California. The 2004 Order stipulated that Anthony must pay $13,000.00 per month in child support, and an additional $3,500.00 in spousal support. TMZ reports that Torres claims that Anthony "pleaded poverty" at the time the Order was made, despite the fact that he bought Lopez a $4 million ring the week the divorce became finalized.

Currently, Anthony states that he pays Torres $28,416.00 in support per month ($13,000.00 in child support and $15,416.00 in spousal support). Torres now seeks to change the support order on the basis that Anthony's income is much higher than previously disclosed.

How much higher you ask? As stated in his legal documents, Anthony makes a whopping $1.25 million per month, or $15 million each year. As a result, Torres is seeking to increase child support from $13,000.00 per month to $113,000.00!

While this may seem high, in Ontario, Anthony might even be expected to pay more. Pursuant to the Child Support Guidelines, Anthony may be obligated to pay $171,302.00 per month for his two children with Torres. Moreover, pursuant to the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, Anthony may be obligated to pay s further $361,415.00 to $416,588.00 per month in spousal support, presuming that the children live primarily with Torres and that Torres makes has a minimal income of her own.

However, two points should be noted:

  1. The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines are not legislated. Thus a judge is free to diverge from them, but must provide a legitimate reason for doing so. Moreover, the court has greater discretion to vary a spousal support award for incomes over $350,000.00. Given that Anthony is an extremely high income earner, a court may find the aforementioned numbers to be excessive.
  2. A court may order that the Table amount for child support is inappropriate where a payor's income is above $150,000.00. In that instance, a court will examine the condition, means, needs and other circumstances of the children as well as the financial ability of each spouse to contribute to the support of the children.
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