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Brendan Fraser in complex child support dispute

In New York and New Jersey, parents who are no longer together have to come to child custody and support agreements that protect the best interests of the children. In matters of child custody, considerations obviously include the children's emotional and intellectual development over time, and visitation arrangements have to be upheld by both parents.

In matters of child support, the guidelines in New York and New Jersey are more or less direct in how the amount of support payments will be calculated in most cases. But in some cases, such as when one parent is a high earner, the calculation of support is more complex.

That may be the case with "George of the Jungle" star Brendan Fraser. The actor has three young children with his ex wife, Afton Smith, whom he divorced in 2009. As of now, Fraser is supposed to pay $900,000 each year in child support and spousal maintenance. But he says he can no longer afford that amount.

At one time, Fraser was one of the top-earning actors around, but he ended up claiming in his divorce that he didn't think he would make any money in the coming years because he had no movies lined up. He has since made some movies, though, and his ex wife recently contended that he was a "fraud" who tried to hide $9 million when the divorce was settled. Her attorney (not affiliated with this firm) claimed that Fraser had assets totaling $24.7 million late last year.

It remains to be seen how this case will play out. What is certain is that complex child support issues typically require legal assistance to resolve, and people facing this kind of situation would do well to apprise themselves of their rights and responsibilities.

Source: New York Post, "Ex digging for 'Mummy' $$," Laurel Babcock and Dan Mangan, Feb. 11, 2013

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