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Court upholds lowered child support in Brind'Amour divorce

Posted April 7, 2009

— The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a ruling that Carolina Hurricanes captain Rod Brind'Amour can pay less child support than his former wife requested.

Brind'Amour and his wife, Kelle, divorced in 2003 and agreed at the time that he would pay $15,000 a month in child support for their three children or $2,500 a month during any NHL lockout.

In 2006, Rod Brind'Amour sought to cut the amount of support, saying he wanted to instill the values of frugality and hard work in the children, and Wake County District Judge Debra Sasser agreed in December 2007 to reduce the monthly support to $9,147.

Kelle Brind'Amour appealed the ruling, claiming Sasser shouldn't have intervened in the private agreement and that her ruling wasn't based on the facts of the case.

The appeals court noted that Sasser extensively reviewed the facts of the case and said previous court rulings allow judges reverse private child-support agreements if they find them excessive.

"The trial court, in its discretion, determined that a portion of the expenses (Kelle Brind'Amour) claimed as related to the needs of the children were either unrelated to need or were exorbitant," the judges wrote in the unanimous ruling. "We cannot say the trial court abused its discretion by refusing to include a portion of the expenses claimed by (her) as necessary to meet the reasonable needs of the children."

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  • hpr641 Apr 8, 11:09 a.m.

    You "want" to be a professional hockey player, huh? Then be aware of some of the cons. AFTER you've gotten to the big leagues: 1) You're away from your wife, family, and friends for a bare minimum 50-70 nights/year (far more if you don't live or train in the town you play for). 2) You're work with charities, hospitals, kids, etc. will get very little pub., while all the gory details of any legal/moral indiscretions by you OR your wife/kids will make national news (and remember that you're still in just your 20's or 30's). 3) By the end of each year, you'll be so beaten up, that playing the game you love will simply be your way of making a living. 4) At any time, you (and your closest co-workers) could be fired, sent to the minors, or traded (across the country). 5) If you have a VERY long career, you'll be playing at 32yo. 6) After you pay your taxes, agent (and similar others), union dues, and etc., you'll keep well under 50% of your reported salary.

    Go Canes!

  • SME2 Apr 8, 11:08 a.m.

    speak your mind Nukka!

  • Ladybug1 Apr 8, 10:45 a.m.

    mrschizzy - 50/50? What about attending school? They need a primiary residence to determine which school. They need a primiary residence for their own peace of mind. Most ex's don't live around the corner from one another. They try to live a distance apart. Do you have any children from a previous relationship? Mine will tell anyone they don't want to live 50/50. It's about routine and a feeling of security.

  • commonsensical Apr 8, 10:28 a.m.

    tarheels: I agree that there should be reform to ensure that the support obligation is being used to support the kids, and ONLY the kids. That goes for the amount paid by both the custodial and non-custodial parents. The support payment from BOTH parents should be deposited into an escrow account, and then expenditures be subject to audit. Yes, the custodial parent is assessed a support payment, although that payment isn't made back to them through the state - they're just not required to pay it in. There needs to be a lot more oversight, because there is rampant abuse by the custodial parents.

  • Ladybug1 Apr 8, 10:24 a.m.

    Nukka - Boy you've opened a can of worms! Get ready for the Backlash!

    TarheelsDon'tLikeEdwards - The child support I get from my ex does help with all expenses....utilities, housing, transportation etc. I admit that, but my ex cheated and left no other choice but for us to live seperate. He makes 3 times what I do and I have the kids 85% of the time. Don't you think the kids deserve to live equally in both homes? What am I to do have them most of the time and we live in a shack while he lives in his 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath 300K house, that only he lives in? It's based on percentage of income in relation to how many overnights each has the kids. Please don't tell me that doesn't sound fair to you?

  • Caring Apr 8, 10:23 a.m.

    Why would WRAL even post this??? This is not anyone's business but the couples involved!!!

  • Nikka Apr 8, 10:01 a.m.

    Kelle is the Yoko Ono of the NHL.

    Child support should be abolished, period. All of you bleeding heart single moms, suck it up or suck it. I don't care about you... in fact, nobody cares about you.

    I wish Tom Leykis was around to give his $0.02

  • ranquick Apr 8, 8:56 a.m.

    Well I think the court did the right thing, the support is for the kids NOT the EX and many EX's feed off a court system that has been unfair for ages. I pay child support and I do not mind paying it, they are my kids and mind you one is 23. What chaps me is the ex who spends money on things not for the kids but said it was. well I went back to court and demanded proof from the ex where the money was being spent and I won. The ex owns her on business and is making more than me, the court agreed she needs to pay her fair share as well. It does not matter who promise what when they first married it is all about being fair and sharing the resposibility in rasing the kids and oh by the way the law does state child support ends when the child can live on thier own and has finish school.

  • icmfal Apr 8, 8:53 a.m.

    Who are these people and why would this be news?

  • FloydRTurbo Apr 8, 8:10 a.m.

    .... just more class envy hatred being ginned up. How long before ACORN shows up at Rod's door to seize his assets "just because" ?

    Define "rich" ? Anyone that has more than I do. Today its millionaire athletes. Tomorrow its a small business owner making $100,000.

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