The Chicago Family Law Blog

Los Angeles Laker Steve Nash Fights to Keep Kids in Arizona

This might be the oddest custody dispute in recent memory. Two time MVP and perennial NBA All-Star Steve Nash, of the Los Angeles Lakers, is fighting his ex-wife over her plans to move his children closer to him, reports TMZ. Ironically, Canadian-born Nash cited Los Angeles' proximity to Phoenix as his reason for choosing the Lakers over other suitors, including the Toronto Raptors. 

Normally, a custody battle is keep a parent from moving the children further from their parents. This battle is allegedly being fought to keep them away. Why? Well, because of a gag order in the case, the exact reasons may remain unknown. TMZ speculates that it may have something to do with child support. A less cynical explanation might be that he's trying to avoid uprooting the children.

The Child Support Theory

According to TMZ, the amount Nash would pay in child support would increase greatly should the kids be moved over the state line into California. We can't verify that, as both state's formulas for determining support amounts require unavailable tax information, but it does seem plausible due to the significantly higher cost of living in Los Angeles.

For the record, here in Illinois, the baseline amount for child support is as follows, unless special needs or circumstances apply:

  • One child - 20 percent of net income
  • Two children - 28 percent
  • Three children - 32 percent
  • Four children - 40 percent
  • Five children - 45 percent
  • Six or more children - 50 percent

Other Possible Reasons

Steve Nash makes millions of dollars per year. It is doubtful that he would fight his ex-wife's attempt to move the children closer over what probably amounts to a few hundred thousand dollars per year. Other reasons for not moving the children might include not wanting to uproot their lives, not wanting them to change schools mid-year, or perhaps he simply feels that Phoenix is a better place to raise the children.

However, judges are reticent to interfere with a parent's need to move, unless it will prevent a parent from seeing the children. See, for example, Halle Berry's custody battle. She wanted to move to Paris. That would've kept the children from seeing their father. The court blocked the move. The exact opposite situation exists here. Moving the children to Los Angeles would presumably increase their access to both parents.

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