Tigers superstar Miguel Cabrera and his former mistress appear headed for trial over child-support payments, after two lengthy mediation sessions failed to produce a resolution in court proceedings that are at 10 months and counting.
Judge Alan S. Apte of the Ninth Circuit Court of Florida this week set trial dates for Nov. 5-7, after the end of the 2018 Major League Baseball season. During a case management conference last week, Cabrera's attorney, Benjamin Hodus, told the court that Cabrera wished to finalize the case after the season.
Last month, Apte ordered Cabrera to pay Belkis Mariella Rodriguez temporary relief of $12,247.33 per month, not including attorney fees.
Cabrera had been paying Rodriguez at least $15,000 a month before she filed a lawsuit last August, claiming Florida statue means he owes her substantially more for the two children — one boy and one girl — he fathered with her.
The statute guideline recommends 7.5 percent of net income for two children, which would amount to more than $100,000 a month, given Cabrera's substantial salary.
Cabrera is drawing a $30 million salary from the Tigers this year through 2021, then it rises to $32 million for the last two guaranteed years of the contract signed in March 2014.
Cabrera's legal team is arguing the spirit of the statute wasn't designed for someone of Cabrera's means. Rodriguez's legal team is arguing her two children should be entitled to the same quality of life as the three children he has with his wife, Rosangel.
Rodriguez, who claims to make less than $2,000 a month operating a Florida flower shop, also has claimed Cabrera unilaterally and unfairly decided to cut the amount of his payments, forcing her to borrow from friends and family to keep up with the million-dollar, five-bedroom, six-bathroom Spanish colonial he helped her buy in a gated golf community in Orlando in April 2017.
That decision by Cabrera prompted the lawsuit, according to court filings.
Mediation sessions in October and January didn't lead to a settlement. Apte now will make the final decision during the November bench trial. Hodus declined comment when reached by The News on Tuesday.
Rodriguez's lawyer, Terry Young, has declined all requests for comment from The News. He didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Cabrera, 35, whose lawyer has said he wants to be in the children's lives and has paid thousands to Rodriguez for overseas trips, cruises and birthday parties for the children,
hasn't publicly addressed the lawsuit.
During a recent exclusive interview with The Detroit News, he agreed to be asked two questions about the pending case, but he cut the interview short, before the questions could be asked.
Rodriguez, 35, and Cabrera appeared to have had a relationship in 2014 and 2015, according to posts she made on social media. After The News broke the story on the lawsuit in October, she set her social-media accounts to private.
Cabrera, the two-time American League MVP and former Triple Crown winner, is currently on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, but is expected to return to the Tigers' lineup in the next week or two. He's made headlines in recent weeks, saying Tigers fans don't appreciate when he plays hurt.
He also was at the center of controversial comments made by former Marlins executive David Samson, who said Cabrera is "stuck" in Detroit and has expressed interest in returning to play for the Miami Marlins. Through a team spokesman, Cabrera said he was "joking" when he told Samson that.
Cabrera and his wife own homes in Michigan and Florida. Rosangel filed for divorce just before the 2017 season, but withdrew the motion.