However, some MLB players have much more on their plate this off-season. For example, Angels third baseman, Alberto Callaspo, recently faced a court appearance where Mariangely Santana Perez, the mother of a 4-year old boy, was warming up to hit her own home run by requesting $11,498 of monthly child support.
Callaspo, who allegedly lived with Perez and her son, despite Callaspo being married with a child of his own, denied he was the boy’s father. Callaspo’s salary last season was $460,000, but he is destined to earn $2 million next season. Under Illinois law, the boy’s mother could have r requested more than $24,000 a month.
The hearing, which was on November 3, carried significant financial implications for Callaspo, since it would cost him $16,096 a month of pre-tax earnings to make the requested payments. If he succeeds in staying in the big leagues for 10 years, the total amount would exceed $1.93 million.
Fortunately for Callaspo, the court determined he was not the boy’s father after interpreting laboratory testing.
In Illinois, like most other states, child support is governed by a statutory guideline support formula designed by federal edict. Illinois law provides that a non-custodial parent shall pay a specified percentage of their net income to the custodial parent. Net income is determined by adding up income from all sources, then subtracting a series of statutory deductions (i.e. taxes and health insurance). The percentage of net income paid starts at 20 percent and rises with the number of children to be supported to a maximum of 50 percent of all income.
What many people do not understand is that child support takes into consideration much more than simply examining a child’s minimum “needs.”
In Illinois, and in most other states, the courts have discretion to deviate upward or downward from a guideline child support award, but must explain their reason for doing so in writing within the deviated child support order.
Hypothetically, if paternity was proven and Callaspo was determined to be the boy’s father, Callaspo would be obligated to pay child support until the child reaches majority. The amount Callaspo would have paid would not necessarily be the amount the boy’s mother requested. In fact, the amount would be the subject of serious argument between attorneys.
Callaspo’s attorneys would likely argue that an amount of $11,498 a month ($137,976 a year in non-taxable net income) is a “windfall” for the mother, with a likely scenario that the mother will use the monthly amount for her own purposes. One may ask – How many Twinkies can a kid eat?
Since the law doesn’t require Twinkie receipts, much less any accounting of the support’s use, the mother would likely argue that the child is entitled to maintain the standard of living that the parties enjoyed while living together to support the requested amount. Both are sound arguments and both are supported by case law.
Since the court found Callaspo not to be the child’s father, the significant issue of child support was never addressed. However, the financial implications would have been tremendous if the paternity testing had come back positive.
Callaspo should feel very fortunate that this off-season was filled with top defensive plays by his family law attorneys rather than a big home run by his opposition.