Billionaire Donald L. Bren’s Child-Support Case Headed to Trial

Filed in Gather News Channel by on August 16, 2010 0 Comments

Land developer Donald L. Bren is often described as a major political donor and generous philanthropist. His adult children, however, would call him stingy with the child support. The two are seeking $400,000 a month in retroactive child support payments. The trial begins this week.

The LA Times says that Donald Bren’s child-support case is the latest phase of a legal battle that began in 2003. Christie and David Bren are Donald’s children by former girlfriend Jennifer McKay Gold.

Gold and her children say Bren had an out-of-court agreement with them that he would pay child support and maintain a relationship with the children. Each child received an average of $10,000 per month at the time. They charge that Donald Bren broke that agreement in 1997.

The request for retroactive child support payments of $400,000 a month are based on claims that Donald Bren’s net worth would dictate amounts that high if the child support agreement had been handled in family court. The jury’s decision will have to be based on descriptions of Bren’s wealth during the course of the relationship.

Donald Bren’s personal attorney states that Bren fully complied with past agreements. His child support payments apparently came to over $9 million before the two turned 18. He says the trial that begins this week is Gold coming back 15 years after the fact to get more money out of Bren.

A retroactive child-support case without documentation has a large whiff of gold-digging to it. While it’s fair to say that Donald Bren’s political donations and philanthropy might indicate he could’ve been more generous with his children, the time to file in court about that was when they were still minors. Retroactive support is better sought with a clearly violated court order in hand. And support of any nature should always be handled by lawyers, not verbal agreement.

Article ©2010 by Brenda Daverin for Gather.com. All rights reserved.

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