Steve Nash Should Pay Child Support in Divorce with Alejandra Amarilla, Appeals Court Rules
sikids.com Alejandra Amarilla Nash, ex-wife of NBA star Steve Nash, likely will be receiving a large child-support check because of today's Arizona Court of Appeals ruling.
Looks like Steve Nash is going to have to pay child support to his ex-wife, after all.
A ruling today by the Arizona Court of Appeals erases a Maricopa County Superior Court judge's finding on what the NBA star should pay in child support to ex-wife Alejandra Amarilla, opening the door for a substantial monthly payment.
The Appeals Court upheld, however, a stipulation by the lower court that neither Nash nor his ex-wife were allowed to post disparaging comments about each other on the Internet.
Nash, who left the Phoenix Suns in 2012 for the Los Angeles Lakers, has been waging a bitter court battle against his ex-wife since announcing they had split in 2010, a day after the birth of their third child, a boy. The couple also have twin girls.
Nash's attorney revealed an e-mail by Amarilla in a May court hearing that showed she hoped to move to California so the kids, who still lived in Arizona with their mom, could be nearer to Nash -- and so she could petition a California court to make Nash pay child support. Media reports state that Amarilla was paid $5 million by Nash previously in the divorce.
The three-judge appeals court panel (Diane Johnsen, Samuel Thumma, and Michael Brown) ruled today that a decree by the lower court that let Nash off the hook for child support was a mistake. The lower court failed to properly consider both basic guidelines for determining child support and a legitimate request by Amarilla for an "upward deviation" of the basic amount.
The case will now go back to the Superior Court for determination of those factors, meaning Nash likely will end up paying a higher monthly amount for the kids' care than he thought.
Basic guidelines should have meant that each parent's income should have been calculated, and an amount set that reflected a proportion of those incomes, the ruling states. Instead, the lower court's decree states that Nash should keep paying only for the insurance and education expenses.
The other problem with the lower court's ruling was that it required Amarilla -- who wanted $22,500 a month in child support -- to prove the higher-than-normal amount was in the kids' best interest in order to receive any "upward deviation" at all. The appeals court judges say that Amarilla only has to prove "some" extra cash is necessary.
And they spend a few pages backing up Amarilla's contention that she's probably right about the kids deserving more.
Image: Wikipedia Steve Nash
Where the lower court "concluded the presumptive amount satisfied the children's basic needs, it erred," the judges wrote. "In determining child support, the superior court must consider the reasonable needs of the children in light of the parents' resources."
In a case such as this, involving "significant wealth," the court should have given considerable regard" to a greater amount of support, the appeal ruling says.
Although the court rejected Amarilla's expert witness on finance matters, accountant Michael Miskei, saying he'd committed "numerous analytical flaws," other evidence revealed the parents' expenses in Arizona and elsewhere.
The ruling then gets into some interesting personal business of the former couple and their jet-set lifestyle.