Cabrera’s deposition postponed in child-support case

Tony Paul

Tigers star Miguel Cabrera’s deposition in a paternity-suit case in Florida, originally scheduled for later this week, has been postponed by the attorneys for the woman alleging he’s not paying enough child support for two children he fathered with her.

Cabrera was to be deposed by attorneys for Belkis Mariela Rodriguez on Thursday, but that won’t happen, and her attorneys haven’t sought a rescheduled date — perhaps a sign the sides could be inching toward working out some sort of an agreement.

Rodriguez, 35, was deposed by Cabrera’s legal team in Orlando, Fla., on Friday. While the lawsuit is public record, the deposition transcripts from the questioning of Rodriguez will be confidential.

Rodriguez and Cabrera both are scheduled to attend a mediation session Oct. 25, as attorneys for both sides continue to try to reach an agreement without a hearing before a judge, and a court-ordered decision. It’s unclear if they will be in the same room or separate rooms for mediation.

Benjamin Hodas, the lead attorney for Cabrera, declined to comment on the proceedings when reached by The News on Tuesday.

The News first reported Friday night that Rodriguez, who had children she says are Cabrera’s in 2013 and 2015, is suing the two-time Most Valuable Player for increased child support. Cabrera has been paying more than $6,000 a month and aided in Rodriguez purchasing a new home, just yards off a posh golf course, worth nearly $1 million.

Florida woman hits Miguel Cabrera with child-support suit

Rodriguez alleges after the home purchase, Cabrera “unilaterally” decreased the monthly payments.

Nowhere in court documents does it say how much financial support Rodriguez is seeking, though Cabrera’s attorneys have argued in Orange County, Fla., that based on Cabrera’s substantial worth, Rodriguez is angling for more than $100,000 a month. According to Florida statue, a man of Cabrera’s means who be required to pay 7.5 percent of his net pay to support two children. That comes out to more than $100,000 a month.

Cabrera’s attorneys are arguing that just because Cabrera makes so much — he’s one of the richest athletes in the world, earning $28 million in 2017 and due for increases to $30 million and then $32 million in the coming years — that doesn’t entitle Rodriguez to live such a luxurious lifestyle. Cabrera also is seeking paternity testing, though that has yet to be conducted.

Rodriguez’s attorneys counter that the two children in question should be able to share in his “good fortune” and be treated equally to the three children Cabrera has with his wife, Rosangel. The couple was married in 2002, and remain married.

Terry Young, attorney for Rodriguez, 35, an Orlando florist, declined to comment when reached by The News last week. The Tigers have not responded to request for comment.

Read documents in Miguel Cabrera paternity suit

Rodriguez didn’t return a message from The News seeking comment, but has since made her Facebook page private after The News reported how she posted pictures on social media from ballparks where Cabrera, 34, was playing multiple times in 2014 and 2015.

It remains unclear how or when Cabrera and Rodriguez met.

In the most recent development, on Monday, the initial judge was removed from the case after it was discovered her husband, a retired lawyer, has an emeritus-type position with the law firm representing Rodriguez, following a merger of law firms.

The new judge assigned to the case is Heather Pinder Rodriguez of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.

Cabrera is an 11-time All-Star and former Triple Crown winner who appears bound for the Hall of Fame once his playing days are over, but he’s coming off his worst full season in the major leagues. Battling back issues — and now, it’s learned, the stress of a child-support lawsuit, originally filed in August — he batted .249 with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs as the Tigers finished with the worst record in the major leagues. He’s under contract through 2023.