Dead-Beat It

Michael Jackson’s brother says he is too strapped to meet his child support obligations, and is asking a court to reduce his payments:

Jermaine Jackson is so broke he can’t afford to keep up with his child support payments, according to court documents.
The Jackson 5 legend filed papers at Los Angeles County Superior Court earlier this week alleging his finances are so dire he can no longer pay $3,000 US-a-month in child support for sons Jaafar and Jermajesty.
He has asked a judge to cut the costs down to just $215 (£143)-per-month, and insists his ex-wife Alejandra Jackson earns more money than him and lives for free at his mother Katherine’s estate.
According to the documents, obtained by TMZ.com, the star has earned very little since his $450,000 fee for appearing on Britain’s Celebrity Big Brother TV show in 2007.

In Canada, the federal Child Support Guidelines include a section allowing the court to impute income to a payor who appears to be under-employed or hiding income:

19. (1) The court may impute such amount of income to a spouse as it considers appropriate in the circumstances, which circumstances include the following:
(a) the spouse is intentionally under-employed or unemployed, other than where the under-employment or unemployment is required by the needs of a child of the marriage or any child under the age of majority or by the reasonable educational or health needs of the spouse;
(b) the spouse is exempt from paying federal or provincial income tax;
(c) the spouse lives in a country that has effective rates of income tax that are significantly lower than those in Canada;
(d) it appears that income has been diverted which would affect the level of child support to be determined under these Guidelines;
(e) the spouse’s property is not reasonably utilized to generate income;
(f) the spouse has failed to provide income information when under a legal obligation to do so;
(g) the spouse unreasonably deducts expenses from income;
(h) the spouse derives a significant portion of income from dividends, capital gains or other sources that are taxed at a lower rate than employment or business income or that are exempt from tax; and
(i) the spouse is a beneficiary under a trust and is or will be in receipt of income or other benefits from the trust.

I don’t know for sure, I’d assume California law allows for something similar. And if I were representing the recipient, I’d certainly want to know why Jermaine is apparently doing all these Michael Jackson tribute concerts for free.
(Also: “Jermajesty”?)

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