Determining who will get custody of a child is a common element of many divorces. At some point, either by mutual decision of the couple themselves or by mandate of a court, usually one parent will become the custodial parent and the other the non-custodial parent. In many cases, non-custodial parents are required to pay monthly child support. This even applies to parents who never married.
Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, 47, and her longtime companion Gabriel Aubry, 38, were one of those couples who never wed but had a daughter together. Recently, the two were in the public eye over their child support dispute when a California court ordered the actress to pay Aubry $16,000 in monthly child support. The support will cover their 6-year-old daughter's everyday expenses. The child's healthcare expenses will be split by the two parents, but Berry will shoulder her daughter's school tuition fees. The actress's child support obligation will continue until the child graduates from high school or turns 19.
The Los Angeles Superior Court also ordered Berry to pay Aubry a retroactive payment of $115,000, along with legal fees. The court also ruled that Berry cannot relocate her daughter to France, where the actress now resides with her third husband, 48-year-old actor Olivier Martinez.
Berry's child-support case is undoubtedly higher profile than most cases, but it shows the changing social norms and attitudes about parenting, child support and child custody. The sources of income for both parents is one principal factor when child support is being considered, and if the mother earns more than the father, then she is more likely to be required to support the child through child support payments.
Source: Newsday, "Halle Berry ordered to pay Gabriel Aubry $16,000 a month in child support," Frank Lovece, June 9, 2014