Former NBA player Lamar Odom recently ended up in the news for two reasons. He took on Aaron Carter in a celebrity boxing match, reportedly bringing in a $40,000 paycheck, and he was ordered to pay more than $380,000 in child support to the mother of his two adult children.
So, how did Odom end up owing so much in child support for his two grown children?
Odom’s Child Support Agreement
It may seem surprising that Odom owes so much in child support for two grown children. Destiny Odom is 23, and Lamar Odom Jr. is 19. But, the details of the situation explain why he was ordered to pay such a large sum to the mother of his children.
In May 2021, Liza Morales sued Odom for failing to pay child support. She alleged that he hadn’t paid support since June 2020.
Morales’ lawyers said Odom owed $91,000 in child support and that he was behind on paying for college costs and rent for the apartment Morales shared with the children in Lower Manhattan. Morales claimed the lack of funds put her in a position where she owed $83,000 in rent and was facing eviction.
Odom is required to make child support payments to Morales as part of an original agreement made in 2015. At that time, it was agreed that Odom would pay roughly $6,000 a month in child support, along with the children’s college fees and a premium for a $9 million life insurance plan, according to Page Six.
The agreement wasn’t a spousal support agreement. Odom was never married to Morales. The agreement was a child support agreement.
The agreement stated that Odom would pay support until his youngest child graduated from college. Both of Odom’s kids are over the age of 18, but he is still required to make his support payments.
At the hearing, Morales pointed out that Odom has the money to pay. She claims he has an NBA pension and a financial stake in a CBD company, and he just was paid $40,000 for participating in the celebrity boxing match against Aaron Carter.
After the virtual hearing in Manhattan, Supreme Court Judge Matthew Cooper agreed that Odom needed to pay.
He ordered Odom to pay Morales $380,549 for child support, back rent, college costs, and her legal fees, according to a new report by Page Six. The judge also ordered Odom to fund a life insurance policy worth $1 million and name his ex as the beneficiary.
Understanding How Child Support Works
Odom is legally bound by his child support agreement and is therefore required to make payments. Odom’s family law matter was held in the New York state court system and must abide by the laws of that state.
In Florida, the situation would have likely ended in the same result.
When it comes to child support, Florida follows an “Income Share Model” when determining how much child support a parent must pay. It is defined in Florida Statute 61.30.
- The court considers how much money the parents would have spent on the children if they had remained married.
- They divide the amount between the two parents based on income.
- The court may set the amount 5% above or 5% under the amount determined through this formula.
- If the court wants to set an amount that is more than 5% above or less than 5% lower, they must submit a written finding that explains why.
In Florida, if Odom had the funds to pay the amount determined by the Income Share Model, he would be required to pay.
Some child support cases are closed once children turn 18. But in the Odom case, his agreement stated that he would pay until both children graduated from college. He is required by law to make the child support payments.
Get Support for Your Child Support Claims
The most important part of a child support case is the children. It’s important that they have what they need to be safe and cared for.
If you are dealing with a child support case and want to ensure that your children get what they deserve, talk to an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate child support and custody agreements.
Get family law advice today. Schedule a free consultation with TJ Grimaldi. See how TJ and his team can help you and your family get what you deserve. Schedule your free consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.