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Celebrity Family Law – Mario Winans
It seems like nearly every day there is a news story about a celebrity failing to pay court ordered child support. Today it is former Bad Boy Records singer/producer, Mario Winans. Bad Boy Records Singer Busted for Ton of Back Child Support, tmz.com, September 28, 2017 Winans was recently arrested for a child support arrearage of $178,000. According to the child support order, he is supposed to be paying $3,500/month - which makes him nearly 4 years behind. After telling the Judge that he could secure a loan for $10,000 to begin paying off the debt, he was released with a GPS ankle monitor. Presumably he will have to begin making some sort of monthly payment in an attempt to bring down the arrearage if he wants to remain out of jail.
However, Winans claims that he only makes about $3,000/month from songwriting. With that amount of income, why isn't he seeking a downward child support modification? It is likely because, though that is his current income, his assets are fairly substantial and his monthly income is inconsistent. We see this a lot with celebrities who do not usually make a consistent monthly salary like those with more traditional jobs. Rather, their income ebbs and flows based upon what they are working on at any particular time. For example, Winans may have one month where he is very successful writing and selling songs, and another month where he does nearly nothing. For a situation like this, the mother of his child may be best served requesting an Order requiring him to give her a percentage of his income each month in an effort to pay down the arrearage. In addition, if he does have substantial assets, she should request that he sell them to begin the pay off, especially if he is not currently making sufficient monthly income to even pay what he owes each month before the arrearage. Either way, he will have to find a way to both pay the $3,500 that he owes her each month plus make a payment plan to begin to make a dent in the arrearage. If that is not financially possible for him, he should consider asking for a downward modification. While it will not negate the $178,000 that has already accrued, it would help keep that amount from increasing at a rapid pace but decreasing the current amount he owes each month.