Let’s say Chad and Beth were married for ten years before each decided to work with a divorce attorney to end the marriage. They had one child from the marriage: Butch. As part of the legal proceedings, Beth was named the sole custodial parent, and Chad was granted visitation rights. Additionally, Chad was ordered by the court to pay Beth child support for the benefit of Butch.
A few years went by after the divorce attorney for each finished the legal work. Beth and Butch lived in New Orleans, which is known in the film industry as “Hollywood South. ” The reason is because many film and production studios from California choose to shoot their films in New Orleans. There are significant tax and union benefits to doing so. As a result, it is easy for wannabe actors to make their break in the Big Easy. By the time Butch is thirteen years old, he is one of these wannabes. In fact, he is consumed and obsessed with the idea of becoming a film start. He convinces his mother to act as his manager, and the two of them go around town trying to land him roles. Before long, Butch gets a gig in a commercial for peanut butter.
Butch has a very compelling stage presence, and his commercial is noticed by a producer in Hollywood. The producer is looking for a very specific child actor for a very specific role in a new show he is having written. The next thing Butch and Beth know, they are being flown to L. A. to star in a pilot television program. The pilot is picked up by one of the major networks, and nearly overnight Butch is a minor celebrity. One year later, he is something more of a major celebrity. His income from doing the show is over six figures a year.
Throughout this entire time Chad is very proud and excited for his successful son. He consistently flies out to Los Angeles to watch his son shoot the show. One thing that lingers in the back of Chad’s mind is to ask his former divorce attorney how is it that he is still paying child support for Butch, even though Butch is making more money that he is!
Under Louisiana Revised Statute 9:315.7, Chad may be able to extricate himself from the child support obligation. Remember that the basis for child support is the idea that just because parents have a duty to clothe, feed, and house their children. As the custodial and domiciliary parent, Beth is faced with this responsibility day to day. Chad must also make contributions. However, Butch’s recent and atmospheric success is a rarity which few parents have enjoyed. Despite the fact that he is still a minor, Butch is making enough money to support himself.
Assuming Butch is not in school full time (a requirement to trigger the exception under 315.7) and that he has devoted his career to acting, there is a fair chance that Chad’s divorce attorney could petition a Louisiana court to adjust, if not absolve him of making continued child support payments.
This above is informational only, not legal advice. Will Beaumont. New Orleans.
If you would like to know more information, contact a local divorce attorney.Metairie has numerous such professionals.