Bristol Palin files for child support
Associated Press Writer
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Sarah Palin’s oldest daughter, Bristol, is seeking child support from the young man who fathered her 1-year-old son.
Documents filed Thursday in Superior Court in Palmer shows Bristol Palin is seeking $1,750 a month from 19-year-old Levi Johnston, her former fiance. Their son, Tripp, was born in December 2008.
Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein said Alaska law makes clear that a parent of a child is obligated to provide support.
“It is unfortunate Bristol has to seek court intervention in this regard,” Van Flein said.
The details regarding child support come at the same time Bristol is seeking full custody of the baby. She filed a petition for sole custody in early November.
Johnston, at the very least, wants joint custody, said Rex Butler, Johnston’s lawyer.
The motion for child support says Bristol, 19, is providing nearly 100 percent of Tripp’s care and that Johnston has paid only $4,400 in more than a year. Palin’s oldest daughter also is seeking back child support of $18,350. The amount is based on an estimate of Johnston’s income last year.
Alaska law mandates that at a minimum for one child the noncustodial parent is obligated to pay child support in the amount of 20 percent of that person’s adjusted annual income.
The court filing says Johnston has earned more than $105,000 in 2009 for various media interviews and modeling assignments. It also says he has not provided the court information on his adjusted annual income as requested.
Butler said on several occasions Johnston wanted to give Bristol money for the baby’s care, requesting that she bring Tripp with her, but she was a no-show.
“He was prepared to meet her at the location she designated,” Butler said. “He was hoping to at least get a chance to see his baby.”
Butler said the situation as far as visitation has improved, with Johnston now being allowed a few hours on Saturday to be with Tripp.
“That is the highlight of the weekend for Levi,” Butler said.
Butler said Bristol also is driving a brand-new $60,000 Cadillac Escalade, which he suspects is a gift from Sarah Palin, who recently finished up a book tour for her blockbuster “Going Rogue.” The former Alaska governor was the Republican candidate for vice president when it was revealed that her daughter was pregnant.
Butler said he hopes Bristol and Levi can work out an agreement with a mediator where they would be free of “influence by outside forces.”
“I have always maintained that if these two folks were left alone they could work out their own details,” Butler said.