Matt Damon, Luciana Barroso and a story of child support

Fairy tales of celebrity/commoner marriages are few and scarce to find, but here’s a perfect Cinderella one, where a celebrity not only married a bartender but also sustains her daughter from a previous marriage.

While filming Stuck on you in 2003, Matt Damon snuck into a Miami Beach bar and hid behind the counter to escape the paparazzi. That’s where Luciana Barroso, 23-year-old Argentinian-born bartender found him. Two years later, they married in a top-secret ceremony in New York’s City Hall where Damon gave her the platinum ring she wears to this day.

To keep their romance strong, Damon follows the “two-week rule” where he’s away no longer than two weeks at a time. It seems to be working, since Damon frequently gushes to reporters about his wife being his soul mate and his being one of the few Hollywood marriages still persisting after 11 years. “I think marriage is insane,” Damon told Entertainment Tonight, “It’s a crazy idea but I love being married to my wife.”

The couple have three children together (Isabella, Gia Zavala, and Stella Zavala). Damon also supports Alexia, Luciana’s daughter from a previous marriage.

If you marry rich, does rich guy or poor ex- support your child?
Marrying someone really, really rich may be a dream come true, but your mate isn’t legally obligated to support your child from a previous marriage, particularly if your ex can afford to do so. This holds true even if your previous husband slices sandwiches in McDonald, while your present swops derivatives on Wall Street. The Court determines that as long as your ex-spouse can afford to buy your child the basics, it is he who forks out the cash.
Naturally, you may see the unfairness. In Luciana’s case, her three girls born to Damon may get the latest princess robes and gadgets, while her first-born, born to Arbello “Arby” Barroso who struggled with legal and financial problems, gets Walmart jeans and t-shirt. A judge may acknowledge the imbalance. But as long as Alexia’s father is willing and able to support her – he does so.

In extremely rare cases, the Court does relent, such as if Alexia’s father dribbled into drunkenness and sent just enough money to buy a pound of bananas a week. In that case, the jury peeks at Damon’s $20M Pacific Palisades mansion and his Miami Beach waterfront mansion as well as his New York East Village condominium and decides that for Alexia’s good, Damon had better, if not share the burden, at least take over.

In our situation, Damon volunteered to support Alexia. As Arby told the Star:
I used to provide for my daughter, but then the market went down… Matt’s been providing for Alexia for 10 years, and he treats my daughter great.
Arby’s lucky. According to the courts, Alexia’s stepfather could remove Arby’s burden of child support by adopting Alexia – but then Arby loses his parental rights. Since Damon did not adopt Alexia, Arby retains his parental rights and, somehow, all of them manage to make it work. In fact, in 2014, he reported that Matt, Luciana and he “have a wonderful relationship.”

How does this apply to you?
If you have a child from a previous marriage and plan to marry rich, add magnanimity to your wish-list. You’ll want your Prince Charming to love you and child so much that he’ll offer to support the child or agree to adopt him. (In the latter case, he’ll have to persuade your ex, too, since your ex loses his parental rights). But then again your ex may be as poor as a mosque mouse, in which case the Court may rule in your favor.
The questions are: Will you find someone that wealthy – and will he agree to adopt.

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