Billionaire Donald Bren’s back-child support nightmare case — updates

Was it the Los Angeles Times that ran a report on this a couple of days ago? Seems Mr. Bren, a regular on the Forbes List of Billionaires, is getting sued for back child support by his two adult children who are asking for about 4 years back support at $400K per month, per pop. Now what is the arithmetic on that? Hang on……………..
That is $4,800,000 per year per kid. If we are talking 5 years back support we are looking, in the aggregate, at $48,000,000? That can’t be right. My math was always atrocious. But do your own math. Four hundred thousand per month per kid multiplied by twelve months per year multiplied by five years. What do you get? That is what they are asking for.
That’s a lot of money. He’s worth about twelve billion. But still. That is a lot of money. And how did they come up with the $400,000 per month?
That brings me back to the question whether billionaires should be held to the child support formula. In New York, and California too (and probably all the other states) there is a formula. It is based on the adjusted gross income of the parents. They pay a percentage based on the number of kids. So for one child, you are looking at about 17% of adjusted gross. For two children it’s more like 25% of adjusted gross. But for those whose combined income is over $80,000, the courts usually will step in and jimmy with the numbers. So in the case of a billionaire in New York, the support would be capped somewhere. Just as it would be capped if the parent was indigent and living below the poverty guidelines.
Certainly, the rules are similar in California. I can’t imagine that a billionaire like Bren would be made to pay his kids 25% of his adjusted gross income based on $12 billion per year. The whole purpose of the child support laws is to adequately provide for children. Sure, a billionaire’s kids must be supported on a level that will allow them to live large. But how large is large enough? Arguably, $400K per month is way too large. What does a kid need with that much money?
But then again, on the other side of the coin, nowhere in the statute (certainly not here in New York) are there special rules for billionaires. There are bound to be folks who will argue that this is a good thing. Why should he get out of his obligations and get special treatment just because he’s super rich?
Well, the case goes to trial next week according to LAT.
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