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“Celebrity” Family Law – Danielle Bregoli

Thanks to the internet and social media, we have a new group of "celebrities" who have made themselves famous for nothing more than doing outrageous things on camera for the world to see. One of these "celebrities" is Danielle Bregoli who made a name for herself following an appearance on an episode of the Dr. Phil show about unruly teenagers. Since then, Bregoli has continued to gain fame for her outrageous behavior and is reportedly making very good money for her antics. Due to her newfound fame and money making ability, Bregoli's father has filed a petition seeking to end his child support obligation, despite the fact that she is only 14 years old. 'Cash Me Outside' Girl Danielle Bregoli's Dad Wants to Stop Paying Child Support,, July 19, 2017

Bregoli's father is currently paying $1,100/month in child support but now claims that she is a celebrity who can provide for herself and, as such, he shouldn't have to continue to pay support. While this case is in Florida, states have similar statutes about the duration of the child support obligation. In Georgia, "[t]he duty to provide support for a minor child shall continue until the child reaches the age of majority, dies, marries, or becomes emancipated, whichever first occurs." O.C.G.A. § 19-6-159(e). In addition, the child support statute discusses only parental income, and does not the income of the child at issue. This could be considered a deviation from the child support amount, but may not completely relieve a parent of the responsibility to pay child support.

In addition, Georgia law requires that each parent "shall be liable to third persons for the board and support and for all necessaries furnished to or for the benefit of the children." O.C.G.A. § 19-6-13. This means that, if this case were in Georgia, Bregoli's parents would be financially responsible for any necessaries purchased by Bregoli. For example, if Bregoli purchases a home with her new fortune (a parent would have to cosign as she is a minor) and then becomes unable to pay the mortgage, the parents would be financially liable. While Bregoli is making a lot of money right now, that likely will not continue forever as she is not famous for anything in particular. As soon as the public grows tired of seeing and hearing about her, the income is very likely to go away. As a 14-year-old, she may not be making the most responsible financial decisions with her new-found fortune and, as such, when the income goes away, she may be left unable to support herself. At that point, assuming she is still a minor, her parents will have to step up and support her. Thus, it is possible that a Judge may order Bregoli's father to pay the support into a trust for the time being so that she will have it at some point in the future even if she does not need it right now.

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