The Houston Family Law Blog

Mel Gibson Ordered to Pay $50,000 in Back Child Support

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We reported last month that a Los Angeles judge ordered Hollywood actor Mel Gibson to pay $20,000 per month in child support so that his ex-girlfriend can care for their daughter, Lucia. However,The New York Post recently reported that the Lethal Weapon star refused to pay the $20,000 per month because he said that $6,000 in rent money should be deducted for the total monthly amount, as the child and ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva are currently living in his Sherman Oaks home.

Yet after a closed-door hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court, a judge reportedly ruled that Mel Gibson is not allowed to charge Oksana Grigorieva rent to live in the house. In addition, Mel Gibson must pay a total of $50,000 to Oksana Grigorieva in back child support.

A family law attorney representing Oksana Grigorieva also said that the judge denied Mel Gibson’s request for a gag order to prevent all parties from discussing the case publicly. It looks like the child support and child custody battle will continue on November 22, when they’re next scheduled to appear in court.

Can a child support order ever be changed? In most states, child support orders can be modified. In Texas, the child support modification process requires work from Texas family law attorneys because an order cannot changed based on an agreement by both parties (as is the practice in some other states). Requiring a judicial “sign off” on a modification also helps to promote fairness and notice. The Office of the Attorney General reports that only courts can modify a child support order and that grounds for modification include a material and substantial change in the circumstances of a child or a person affected by the order, or the passage of three years since the last child support order and a difference in monthly payment by either 20 percent or $100 from the child support guidelines.

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