It is becoming a bit difficult to keep up with the many updates in the child custody and child support case between Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry and model Gabriel Aubry. Our most recent post about the former couple’s family law dispute laid out Berry’s hope to take their daughter with her and her new fiancé to live in France in order to escape the aggression of the paparazzi.
A court has not yet ruled on that detail of the child custody arrangement. It has ruled, however, in response to a child support request by Aubry. According to a court order, Berry must pay $20,000 per month to Aubry in order for him to provide for their daughter while she’s in his custody.
It’s easy to wonder why in the world a parent would need so much money per month to support a child. But a court generally won’t agree to a number that a parent hasn’t justified in some way. Berry and Aubry’s daughter has likely been raised in a manner that she has become accustomed to. The required $20,000 per month presumably will allow Aubry to continue raising her in that manner.
Gender stereotypes can play a role in the public’s perception of a child custody and child support order. Would the public be so vocal about this recent child support ruling if it were a mother getting the support from the father? We don’t have the answer to that question, but it is worth thinking about.
More and more, women are the ones bringing in the biggest or only paycheck in the family. While the average family wouldn’t deal in numbers like $20,000 a month, Berry and Aubry’s situation is a high-profile example of a growing trend in which women/mothers are being required to pay child support and alimony.
Source: NY Daily News, “Halle Berry ordered to pay baby daddy Gabriel Aubry quarter of a million dollars a year in child support,” Joyce Chen, June 20, 2012