Local News

Court upholds lowered child support in Brind'Amour divorce

Posted April 7, 2009 11:53 a.m. EDT
Updated April 7, 2009 1:06 p.m. EDT

— 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."