The divorce decree may not be the final word when couples split up. Issues that arise months or years later may prompt a post-judgment modification involving spousal maintenance, child support or child custody. It can happen to folks who used to live next door, or to celebrities like ex-MLB player Alex Rodriguez, who divorced his former wife in 2008.
Does Rodriguez have a case?
The former player earned over $400 million playing baseball for 24 seasons, and he claims that the couple discussed lowering the amount of the payments after his playing career was over, although the details of the divorce were never made public. Now he seeks to follow through on that modification.
The main thrust of the argument is that Rodriguez now earns about 10% of the $30 million per year he was paid for playing baseball. According to various media reports, he currently pays his wife a total of $115,000 tax-free monthly for spousal maintenance and child support. The former player is by all accounts a devoted father to his two daughters (who are 10 and 13 years old), but he would like to see that number go to about $20,000 per month even though the kids’ expenses total about $7,000 to $12,000 per month.
His ex-wife lives comfortably with three homes and several cars, and has millions of dollars in the bank. She also is engaged to marry the father of her third child. Rodriguez also points out that she chooses not to work to support herself, despite having a master’s degree in psychology.
Setting aside the amount of money discussed, a change in career and cohabitation with a new partner are both common reasons for justifying the modification. The fact that she was only married to Rodriguez for six years also makes his offer seem relatively generous in some people’s eyes.
Sometimes it is just about the money
Rodriguez’s well-publicized engagement to Jennifer Lopez has been in the news, and A-Rod’s ex was even invited to the engagement party. Moreover, there is no reason that his proposed modification would negatively impact the daughters in any way. With the ex-wife stating she wants $50,000, which is two-and-a-half times the amount he proposes, there are still some negotiations to do, but everyone will be okay in the end.
Those interested in a modification of their divorce decree may wish to contact an experienced Board-certified Family Law expert attorney in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, Tarrant County, Midland County, Ector County, or elsewhere throughout Texas. Such an experienced attorney can help one side or the other get the settlement they deserve without adding unnecessary drama to the dispute.