Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera cries foul over child support order | News Coverage from USA

Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera cries foul over child support order

Personal turmoil aside, Miguel Cabrera’s affair with a Florida woman will end up costing him at least $7 million in child support — that is, if a judge’s order sticks.

The Detroit Tigers slugger isn’t having it.

Cabrera is contesting a Florida judge’s  $20,000-a-month child support order, calling it “grossly inflated” and a “windfall” for the mother, whom he has long portrayed as a “gold-digger” trying to cash in on his wealth. Cabrera believes $13,000 a month is more appropriate, and sufficient for the children’s needs, according to court documents. The girl is 3; the boy 6.

Cabrera, who makes $30 million a year,  also is refusing to pay off his ex-mistress’ nearly $1 million mansion, as ordered by the judge in March.  And, he doesn’t want to buy $5 million life insurance policies for the children, or pay their mother nearly $90,000 in back child support that the judge says he still owes her.

Cabrera is asking the judge to reconsider his child support order, arguing it favors the mother over the children.

“It is obvious from the court’s final judgement that it placed considerable, even undue emphasis, on the standard of living of the mother. In effect, the court concluded that the amount of child support in this case must ensure that the mother is able to live a luxurious lifestyle,” Cabrera’s lawyer, Benjamin Hodas, argued in a court filing. “Clearly, the purpose of the father’s child support is not to subsidize the mother or ensure that the mother’s lifestyle comports with that of the father.”

A hearing on the issue will be held in an Orlando courtroom on Tuesday.

“(Cabrera) does not quarrel with the fact that the children are entitled to share in his good fortune, as they already do. Rather, the dispute at hand is to the distinction between appropriate good fortune and excessive support benefiting the mother, rather than the children,” Hodas argues in the filing.

At issue for Cabrera is that the judge is awarding his children in Florida too much money that he believes will largely benefit the mother, Belkis Rodriguez, who sued him in August 2017 for child support and outed their affair.

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“The $20,000 direct child support payment … shall be a complete windfall to the mother. As such, the court’s award not only exceeds the children’s needs, it creates an impermissible savings component for the mother,” Cabrera’s lawyer argues in court records, noting the mother could work, but chooses not to.

Cabrera argues that $13,000-a-month in child support “is more than sufficient to provide for the needs of the children.”

And Cabrera’s lifestyle shouldn’t matter, his lawyer contends.

“The father’s standard of living has little relevance — if in fact it has any at all — to the amount of any child support to be paid because the father’s proposed child support payment of approximately $13,000 per month is considerably above any fear of impoverishment on the part of the children,” Hodas writes.

As for why Cabrera shouldn’t have to pay off Rodriguez’s mortgage, Hodas writes: “the mother’s residence is titled solely in the mother’s name and the father has no interest in (the) home.”

He added: “This is a paternity case, and not a dissolution of marriage case.”

Cabrera’s affair carries a hefty, financial tab. Under the judge’s order, here’s how the money will add until the youngest child turns 18:

  • $20,000/ for the next 14 years = $3.36 million
  • $1 million for the house
  • $10,000/month in estimated, unallocated expenses (health insurance, schooling, trips, parties, property taxes, nanny) =  $1.6 million
  • $12,000 a month that he’s already been paying since the first kid was born ($144,000 x 6) = $864,000

Add that up, and that’s $6.824 million, which doesn’t include attorney fees.

Cabrera, through court filings by his lawyer, says he’s been plenty generous already with his two children in Florida, along with their mother: He bought her a Range Rover, helped her buy a nearly $1 million Spanish colonial in a gated community, flew her and the kids to his games across the country when they dated and pampered them with trips to Europe.

But Rodriguez claims that Cabrera left her and her children high and dry when his wife discovered the affair. So she sued him in court.

A trial followed in Orange County Circuit Court, where Rodriguez sued the millionaire baseball player for $100,000 a month in a lawsuit that outed his secret relationship and revealed the two children he fathered with her. Cabrera also has three children with his wife.

A key sticking point in this case has been whether the children from Cabrera’s affair deserve the same standard of living and opportunities as the children from his marriage.

Rodriguez argued they did. So did the judge.

“The court believes that the children between Mr. Cabrera and Ms. Rodriguez should have the same opportunities as the opportunities that Mr. Cabrera provides to his children with his wife,” Orange County Circuit Judge Alan Apte said during the trial. “It’s gonna be an impossibility to do dollar for dollar … so it’s an opportunity-versus-opportunity situation.”

That means Cabrera’s children with Rodriguez will get vacations and birthday parties equal to what the children Cabrera has with his marital wife, under the court order. The judge also ordered that Cabrera provide the children with Rodriguez with annual passes to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World.

The nearly two-year-old paternity case has gotten uglier over the years, with Rodriguez continually fighting to learn how much money Cabrera spends on his wife and children. 

She argued that given his $30 million annual salary, which equals $2.5 million a month, she was entitled to $100,000 a month under Florida’s child support guidelines, though in the end she asked for $20,000-$30,000.

Cabrera’s lawyer has argued that what Rodriguez was really upset about was that Cabrera wouldn’t leave his wife. Her lawsuit was filed during the end of Cabrera’s worst season, when he batted .249 with 16 home runs and 60 RBI while battling a back injury.

Rodriguez’s lawyer, Terry Young, has argued that Cabrera is a wealthy man who is shortchanging his client, and the children. According to the court documents, Young contends that both parents have agreed to a parenting plan, but Cabrera has made no effort to see the children.

“The father has effectively discontinued all contact with the minor children. In fact, he did not even call the minor son on his recent birthday.” 

Young also has disputed claims that his client asked for too much.

“(Cabrera) attempts to portray (the) mother as some villainous criminal attempting to ‘extort’ him for money … when just the opposite is the case. (She) has made every attempt to work with (the) father over the years regarding child support,” Rodriguez’s lawyer, has argued in court documents.

“She has never attempted to ‘extort’ (Cabrera) for unreasonable sums of money in the hopes of securing ‘alimony’ for herself,” Young has stated in court filings. “These minor children have done nothing wrong and certainly deserve the appropriate support from their father as Florida law requires.”


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