Published May 19, 2011
Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger has admitted that he fathered a child out-of-wedlock with a member of his household staff, the former California Governor has everyone wondering—how could he keep the child a secret from his wife, kids, and everyone else for over a decade?
“He probably made payments to her in cash, money orders, or he could have had an accountant or a business manager pay her,” Beverly Hills-based divorce attorney Evan T. Sussman told FOX 411. “The money could have come from some account that she didn’t know about. Child support is not income to the person receiving it, and it is not deductible to the person paying it.”
Scaring up the scratch wouldn't have been an issue, Sussman said.
“Arnold has the means to keep a love child a secret because he has the money," Sussman said. "Making a payment to this woman every month for 10 years would not impact his household—it would be like anyone else going out for an ice cream cone.”
Legally, Schwarzenegger didn't have to pay the mother anything if she didn't ask him too.
“The mother would have to bring an action for child support,” explained Sussman. “Generally, child support starts being mulled when you bring an action. Usually it’s an action to establish parental relations. Legally, Arnold is not required to pay child support unless there is an action. He’s only paying the mother of his love child out of moral—not legal—obligation.”
On the conservative side, Sussman believes that Schwarzenegger has already paid the woman a over $2 million in child support.
“For example, if someone makes $3 million a year—the courts won’t really go above $3 million. And let’s say that they see the child only 5 percent of the time. What that person would be responsible for on a monthly basis in child support would be about $18,000, or about $216,000 a year.”
With the news of her husband’s decade-long deceit, Maria Shriver “has been working with a very powerful financial adviser who has been helping her position herself for a divorce,” according to TMZ.
“She’s probably trying to find out what she needs to live on,” said Sussman. “Even though she has the Kennedy name, he probably has a lot more money than she does.”
“There are no winners in this,” said Las Vegas attorney Robert Massi. “But Maria has made her decision, she’s moving on, and the family will go on as well.”
Schwarzenegger’s fortune stands at an estimated $300 million dollars. TMZ reported that he was always “generous” with mother of his child, who they say lives several hours outside of Los Angeles in a four-bedroom house with a pool.