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Celebrities and Family Law

We all know Cam Newton, the football quarterback who used to play for the Carolina Panthers but recently signed on with the New England Patriots.  Back in 2011, the football legend was drafted as the first overall pick by the Carolina Panthers.  He played countless games right here in our home state at Bank of America Stadium. He broke countless NFL records for passing and rushing yards by a rookie quarterback in his rookie year.  More recently, Newton has made the news for a reason other than football.  Newton is currently involved in a child support battle with his ex, Kia Proctor.

Cam Newton and Kia Proctor were together for more than six years.  Having first been spotted together at the Kentucky Derby in 2013, they quickly made headlines.  The couple split in January 2020 and have four children together, all four years old or younger.  Evidently, the battle has just begun in the family law arena for Newton.  It appears that Proctor is demanding at least $15,000 per month in child support.  Not only that, but Proctor intends to use part of the money to hire a forensic accountant to examine Newton’s finances.  The three-time Pro Bowler undoubtedly has money in the bank, but it is unclear exactly how much.  His luxury condo right here in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been placed on the market for a whopping $2.9 million.  While $15,000 per month in child support seems like a small amount compared to the $100,000 a judge ordered Kevin Garnett to pay to cover both child and spousal support, the payments are still a tough pill to swallow, even for a celebrity.

In North Carolina, child support is calculated pursuant to the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines.  These guidelines were established by the Conference of Chief District Court Judges and provide a relatively uniform way for calculating child support payments for all parties who file a child support claim in North Carolina.  There are primarily two worksheets that are used to calculate a party’s monthly child support obligation, Worksheet A and Worksheet B.  Worksheet A is for when one parent has primary custody of the minor children and Worksheet B is for when both parents share joint legal custody of the minor children.  Parties move off Worksheet A and onto Worksheet B for calculation purposes when the minor children are with each parent for at least 123 overnights in a calendar year.

A deviation from calculating monthly child support obligations via either Worksheet A or Worksheet B can occur in cases involving the parties’ high combined income.  This occurs when the parents’ combined adjusted gross income is more than $30,000 per month ($360,000 per year).  In these instances, the supporting parent’s basic child support obligation cannot be calculated via either worksheet and a deviation must occur.  In cases where the parents’ combined income is more than $30,000 per month, a judge typically sets support payments in an amount that will meet the reasonable needs of the minor children in terms of health, education, and maintenance, taking into consideration the accustomed standard of living of the child and the parties, among other factors.

In Newton’s case, a judge will most likely deviate from the guidelines.  When signing with the New England Patriots, Newton signed a one year $1.75 million contract.  Thus far, his career earnings are calculated around $122 million.  In comparison, the $15,000 per month that Proctor is asking for child support seems small.  However, the final amount Newton is ordered to pay remains to be determined and will ultimately be decided by a judge.