Once again, I find myself turning to the New York Post for some of the most interesting family law news.  This week, they got me again when they wrote about supermodel, Linda Evangelista’s request for $46,000 per month in child support for the son that she had with Francois-Henri Pinault (CEO of the conglomerate that owns Gucci, Yves St. Laurent and Bottega Veneta). 

The father, who is married to Salma Hayek, with whom he has a 3 year old daughter, for whom
he  shells out $50,000 a month for a $12 million Los Angeles estate held in trust in the girl’s name, while he has allegedly, has not paid a penny of support for the 4 year old boy.

Ms. Evangelista is seeking $175,000/year for armed security for the child and $80,000/year for a around the clock nanny. In fact, it was inferred in the story that she testified that she did not want to be alone with the child.

This is an interesting case of two parents who make substantial incomes.  It was reported that Evangelista earned $1.8 million herself last year and is worth $8 million.  Amusingly, when asked how many hours a week she worked by the judge, she answered in what was described as defensively:

On days when I do not work, I am working on my image. I have to hit the gym. I have beauty appointments. I have to work toward my next job and maintaining my image, just like an athlete.  When I work, it can be a 16-hour day

In New Jersey, there are child support guidelines, but in extreme income situations like this, the guidelines serve as a presumptive minimum, and then support is added based upon the child’s reasonable needs and opportunities that can be provided.  Children are entitled to share in their parents’ good fortune, within reason.  Often cited is a case which cites a case from Kansas suggesting that there is a "three pony rule", i.e. no child needs three ponies.  As was noted in the Michael Strahan case, the parents should have some say so that the children are not spoiled or overindulged.

We will report back when the Evangelista case is decided.


Eric Solotoff is the editor of the New Jersey Family Legal Blog and the Co-Chair of the Family Law Practice Group of Fox Rothschild LLP. Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Lawyer and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys, Eric practices in Fox Rothschild’s Roseland, New Jersey office though he practices throughout New Jersey. You can reach Eric at (973)994-7501, or esolotoff@foxrothschild.com.