Beyoncé’s dad, Mathew Knowles, is best known for his management of the all-female pop group, Destiny’s Child. Since Destiny’s Child has disbanded and Beyoncé has risen to the top as a solo artist, her father is no longer a millionaire manager. Recently, Mathew Knowles has not been in the spotlight for his talent, but rather for his ongoing dispute with Alexsandra Wright, the mother of his 3-year-old son. Although Wright and Knowles were never married, Knowles was ordered to pay $12,000 per month in child support in February 2013.
A few weeks ago, Knowles appeared in court requesting a modification of his child support obligation. The judge agreed Knowles was entitled to a reduction in child support and ordered payment of $2,485 per month. The modification of child support was based on Knowles claim that he experienced a reduction in income. Further, Knowles convinced the court that he was overpaying support under the previous order. As a result, the judge concluded that Knowles overpaid child support by $110,000. In order to equalize the overpayment, the court gave Knowles credit going forward for child support up to $110,000 at the rate of $2,485 per month. Therefore, Wright will not receive child support for approximately three and a half years.
The media is criticizing the judge for denying Wright child support for the next three and a half years because Wright is struggling to support herself and the parties’ son. In order to cover the cost of groceries, Wright is receiving $300 per month in food stamps. Due to the involvement of public assistance services, welfare officials may pursue Knowles for some contribution for support. Although the overall result of this child support dispute may seem unjust, the judge’s order does have some basis in California family law principles.
In San Diego, if a party files a request to modify support, that motion may not be heard for months. Or, on the other hand, it may be heard within thirty days. To level the “playing field” for those cases which might take longer to reach a courtroom (due to the court’s busy calendar or unnecessary delay of the parties), California has instituted a policy of “retroactive support”. This means that California family courts have the power to reach back to the date of filing for the motion and modify support as of that date. Often, retroactive support awards result in an overpayment or underpayment of support which is then addressed by the court. If there has been an underpayment of support, the court will look for a source from which to order payment of that amount or establish a reasonable payment plan. In this case; however, the judge determined an overpayment of support occurred and gave the father a credit for that amount.
Please contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding child custody and visitation. Nancy J. Bickford is the only attorney in San Diego County representing clients in divorces, who is a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) and who is actively licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.