Famous Lawyer Owes Thousands in Retroactive Spousal and Child Support
A judge has ordered that attorney Michael Avenatti, famous for defending Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against the President and his potential consideration for a presidential run in 2020, sell a number of high priced assets to pay his divorce debts and retroactive spousal and child support. A judge in Orange County Superior Court ordered Avenatti this week to sell off a number of assets to fund his divorce settlement from his estranged wife, Lisa Storie-Avenatti. The assets include five high-end watches, some estimated to cost at least $50,000, as well as some of his art collection, including a sculpture created by Frank Gehry. Avenatti was also ordered to give up his leased $300,000 2017 Ferrari 488 GT Spider. His wife will also receive funds from shares in a private jet that was owned by Avenatti’s law firm.
In addition to these assets, the judge ordered that Avenatti pay his wife spousal support of $124,398 per month, retroactive for all of 2018, along with child support of $37,897 per month, also retroactive to January 1, 2018. In total, the divorce settlement is just shy of two million dollars at $1,947,540. Avenatti was married to Storie-Avenatti in 2011 and they have one son together. He has two teenage daughters from a previous marriage.
Retroactive Spousal and Child Support Payments
In California, retroactive child support and spousal support payments refer to payments required of a parent and former spouse for the period that this person did not pay any type of support. This does not mean that the spouse or parent was willful or negligent in payment. Retroactive payments seek support for the time before the support terms were finalized. For retroactive child support, the judge must determine that the following elements occurred for a case to qualify:
- The parent and child are eligible for retroactive support payments
- The noncustodial parent hid assets and finances to attempt to pay a lesser amount
- The noncustodial parent acted in a way to delay the hearing and payments were delayed as a result
- Because of this, payments must be backdated to a period when the noncustodial parent should have paid
Under the California Family Code, spousal support can also be made retroactive to the date of the filing of notice for divorce so long as the spouse seeking the retroactive payments can show cause. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney is your best option for reviewing whether retroactive spousal and child support payments may apply in your situation.
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Retroactive child support and spousal support payments are tricky and complicated divorce matters, and not everyone qualifies for these payments in a California divorce. To discuss retroactive payments or any other divorce issue, my office is here to provide thorough legal guidance. Call the office or contact us today at the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler in Los Angeles or Beverly Hills to schedule a review of your case.