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Supermodel requests $46,000 in monthly child support

In recent weeks, supermodel Linda Evangelista has dropped several bombshells. First, she revealed that the father of her son is Francois Henri-Pinault, the wealthy CEO of a luxury fashion brand conglomerate and the husband of actress Salma Hayek. Then, she filed a motion in family court, requesting an exorbitant amount in child support from Pinault: $46,000 per month. If her request is granted, it will be one of the highest child support awards in U.S. history.

Many members of both the media and the public are calling Evangelista's child support request outrageous and unnecessary. And they may be right: although Evangelista's heyday as a supermodel is long gone, she is still reported to be worth some $8 million. Her child will likely not lack for anything.

However, in an article in the Huffington Post, author Evangeline Gomez points out that Evangelista's wealth may have no bearing on the child support award. In New York, where Evangelista filed her motion, child support is not based on the wealth of one or both parents. Instead, in high income cases such as this, child support is based on the child's actual needs and what is required for the child to live an "appropriate" lifestyle.

In her motion, Evangelista stated that any child support she receives from Pinault would be used for a 24-hour nanny and driver service for the child. Because of her modeling career, which likely requires work in unusual locations at odd hours, a court may see the nanny and the driver as a reasonable request.

In addition, when compared to Pinault's average $5 million annual salary, $46,000 is only about 10 percent of his income. Therefore, granting the motion would certainly not place him in poverty.

Certainly, this case could have a completely different outcome if decided under Las Vegas family law. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Source: Huffington Post, "Linda Evangelista's Stunning Support Demand," Evangeline Gomez, August 10, 2011

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