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Star's child support dispute may mirror some Texas cases

Judge Vicki L. Pinak - Former District Court Judge

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One of the most important issues that can come up during a Texas divorce is that of child support. Couples must often negotiate what amount is appropriate to be paid. Sometimes, even after a divorce has been finalized, one of the parents may later petition the court in order to modify the amount of child support that was previously established by court order.

This appears to be the case for Brendan Fraser, famed star of the "Mummy" movie franchise. He and his former wife, Afton Smith, divorced back in 2009. As part of their divorce settlement, Fraser was to pay $900,000 in child support each year. Now, however, Fraser has indicated that he may need the court to lower his child support payments.

The well-known actor claims that he no longer makes enough money from his acting career to be able to afford that amount of child support. His ex-wife, on the other hand, disagrees and accused him in court of allegedly concealing $9 million worth of new film contracts that he had already obtained at the time of their divorce settlement. Fraser has said that when he claimed that he would be making zero dollars in his acting career over the coming years was because he had no concrete movie deals inked at the time of those proceedings. He also indicates that he has more than one medical issue that could hamper his earning potential as a movie star.

The former spouses share three sons between the ages of six and 10. There is not yet any way to tell whether the judge will agree to lower Fraser's amount of court-ordered child support, or if Smith's claims that he committed fraud will be validated. Texas parents who find themselves facing such disputes may wish to research their options for pursuing a child support modification in a family law court. Such actions can typically be initiated by either the custodial or noncustodial parent, depending upon the circumstances.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Brendan Fraser Broke, Can't Afford $900,000 Child Support Payment To Ex-Wife," Leigh Blickley, Feb. 15, 2013

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