The judge who last month ordered Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera to pay his ex-mistress $20,000 a month in child support is reconsidering the judgment, according to an order issued Thursday.
Alan S. Apte, a circuit judge in Orange County, Fla., wrote, in part:
"Upon reviewing the testimony, exhibitions in evidence, arguments of counsel, and the proposed Final Judgments submitted by the parties, the Court exercises its inherent authority to recoonsider a matter before the entry of a written Final Judgment."
Apte ruled in January that Cabrera, 35, would have to pay Belkis Mariela Rodriguez $20,000 a month in child support for two children, one boy and one girl, they had together. Cabrera also was ordered to pay for private-school tuition, day care, vacations, insurance and other activities, in line with what he provides for the three children he has with wife, Rosangel, who filed for divorce in 2017 before withdrawing that motion.
Cabrera and his legal team were unhappy with that ruling, arguing for something closer to the $12,000-per-month temporary judgment handed down in April 2018.
Cabrera last month also was ordered to pay Rodriguez's attorney fees, of $51,306.25. He remains on the hook for those.
Apte instructed both sides to hold another mediation session, for one hour, in hopes of resolving the dispute, which has been in the courts since August 2017. Multiple prior mediation sessions netted no resolutions.
As The Detroit News first reported, Rodriguez filed the suit in the summer of 2017 after she said Cabrera unilaterally cut the monthly payments he was making to her, to around $15,000. Rodriguez called that amount "inadequate," the sides began to spar privately and eventually Cabrera cut the amount further, she said. Rodriguez, a flower-shop owner, said in court documents Cabrera had left her "high and dry," and she had to resort to borrowing from friends and family to keep up with the near-million-dollar, 3,704-square-foot home Cabrera had, in April 2017, helped her purchase in a gated community in Orlando.
Under Florida statute, suggested child-support payments when two children are involved is 7.5 percent of one's net income. That would mean more than $100,000 a month from Cabrera, who earns in excess of $30 million a year. Cabrera's attorneys have argued the statute wasn't written with someone of Cabrera's means in mind.
It's unclear how Cabera and Rodriguez met, nor how long their relationship lasted. But social-media posts by Rodriguez, since deleted, show her at ballparks and hotels coinciding with Tigers road trips in 2014 and 2015.
Cabrera is under contract with the Tigers for five more seasons, at a total bill of $154 million. The two-time MVP and former Triple Crown winner is coming off two of the worst seasons in his Hall-of-Fame-caliber career, as he's battled a variety of injuries. In 2018, he played just 38 games before a torn biceps ended his season and required surgery. During last month's Tigers Winter Caravan, he was upbeat and said he was healthy.
Lawyers for both Cabrera and Rodriguez have declined to comment throughout the proceedings, and Cabrera nor the Tigers have commented publicly.