As Miguel Cabrera fights to reduce his child support payments to an ex-mistress, the woman's lawyer is seeking to hold him in contempt, claiming the Detroit Tigers MVP has disobeyed a court order involving their two children.
Cabrera should be fined or locked up, the lawyer argued in a Thursday court filing that claims the Tiger slugger is dragging his feet in complying with a judge's March 21 child support order.
Specifically, an attorney for Belkis Rodriguez, the Orlando woman who had a 5-year affair with Cabrera that produced two children, claims that Cabrera has not complied with the following requirements:
-- Pay her $89,581 in back child support in full by May 1, or over time. Cabrera claims he doesn't owe it and "has no intention of paying it," records state.
-- Obtain a $5 million life insurance policy for both of their children. The girl is 3; the boy, 6. Cabrera is challenging this.
-- Pay for the children's medical and dental insurance.
-- Buy the children unblocked, annual passes to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World. The mother paid nearly $4,000 to renew the passes, but Cabrera has yet to reimburse her and won't return her emails, she alleges in court records.
"(Rodriguez) has attempted to resolve (Cabrera's) contemptuous actions on numerous occasions," her attorney, Terry Young, argues in court records. "Despite (her) attempts to amicably reconcile the outstanding obligations identified ... (Cabrera) has not complied with the final judgment and the court's order."
Under Florida law, contempt of court is a situation where someone has not obeyed a court order and may be subject to fines, sanctions, or incarceration. To be in contempt of court, a party must prove that there is: a court order that clearly defines an obligation or requirement; an ability on the part of the ordered individual to comply with that order, and a willful refusal to comply with the order.
Cabrera, meanwhile, is pushing back, claiming in court records that the judge has ordered him to pay too much money for the two children he fathered with Rodriguez -- $20,000 a month, plus lots of extras -- and that the money will largely benefit the mother. He is appealing the court order and is asking for a $13,000-a-month child support payment instead, arguing that sufficiently meets the children's needs.
Cabrera also is contesting having to pay off Rodriguez's nearly $ 1 million home.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday.
"It is obvious from the court's final judgement that it placed considerable, even undue emphasis, on the standard of living of the mother. In effect, the court concluded that the amount of child support in this case must ensure that the mother is able to live a luxurious lifestyle," Cabrera's appeals lawyer, Nancy Hass, has argued in court records. "Clearly, the purpose of the father's child support is not to subsidize the mother or ensure that the mother's lifestyle comports with that of the father."
Rodriguez's lawyer disagreed and has urged the court to stick to its original child support order, saying Cabrera is "merely" trying to re-argue issues that the court has already considered and rejected. He called Cabrera's request for a lower child support order "petty," citing his $30-million annual salary and nearly $100 million net worth.
"The mother is both surprised and perplexed that the father would challenge the court's very generous deviation from guidelines in light of the lack of proof he offered in support of such deviation," Young wrote in a Thursday filing. "The court made quite clear that its emphasis was on the standard of living of the father's other children (from his marriage) and providing them with an opportunity-for-opportunity standard of support."
Miguel Cabrera child support case: Do kids need dad more than money?
Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera cries foul over child support order for ex-mistress
Under Florida's child support guidelines, given Cabrera's $30-million annual salary, he faced up to $137,000 in payments a month. Rodriguez ended up asking for $25,000 to $30,000 per month. She ended up with $20,000 a month, plus thousands more for expenses like health care, tuition, vacations, extracurriculars for the kids and property taxes on their home.
"(Cabrera) does not quarrel with the fact that the children are entitled to share in his good fortune, as they already do. Rather, the dispute at hand is to the distinction between appropriate good fortune and excessive support benefiting the mother, rather than the children," Cabrera's lawyer has argued in court documents.
Cabrera, through court filings by his lawyer, says he has been plenty generous already with his two children in Florida, along with their mother: He bought her a Range Rover, helped her buy a nearly $1 million Spanish colonial in a gated community and paid for cruises, European vacations and cross-country trips for her and the kids, whom he flew to his baseball games when they dated and put up in luxury hotels.
But all that ended, Rodriguez claims, when Cabrera's wife discovered the affair and filed for divorce in April 2017. Cabrera "abruptly" ended the relationship, withdrew his financial support from the children and left the mother "with the entire financial burden of the household and children's expenses," her lawyer has argued in court records.
Four months after Cabrera's wife filed for divorce -- she later changed her mind -- Rodriguez sued Cabrera for child support and outed the affair.
A trial followed in Orange County Circuit Court, where a judge concluded: "The children between Mr. Cabrera and Ms. Rodriguez should have the same opportunities as the opportunities that Mr. Cabrera provides to his children with his wife."
Contact Tresa Baldas: [email protected]
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