Sometimes when everything seems to be going your way, that’s the moment everything comes crashing down on top of you. Mariano Rivera was recently inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame by a unanimous vote, and almost immediately after that, he was subject to accusations from his native home in Panama for failing to support two children. He denied the allegations as unfounded slander, stating that they have had a negative effect on the children he has here in the United States.
Yovany Wyznick Ortega, a family lawyer for the mother of the two children, accused Rivera of returning to Panama to stay in the spotlight instead of to do right by the kids he failed to support when they needed it most. The boy and girl are now 11 and 15. According to Ortega, Rivera unexpectedly broke off contact with the children and their mother only two years ago, which led them to economic disaster.
The allegations prompted five separate lawsuits against Rivera, and the mother of his alleged children wants the authorities to bar him from leaving the country if he tries to avoid justice by fleeing.
Child support in Panama covers “food” but in legislation, the word is an umbrella term under which clothing, housing, medical needs, recreation, and education fall. There is no clearly defined amount of child support that a parent must pay. Judges most often take into consideration the economic status of the individual in question, as well as the needs of the beneficiaries. In this case, Rivera might be expected to cough up quite a bit of cash for the mother should he be identified as the father of the two children.
In order to make this determination, it will be necessary for Rivera to provide income records, including any bonuses paid out during his time playing baseball. It isn’t certain how Panamanian judges will work to establish paternity, or whether they would at all. Family lawyers have the right to ask that DNA testing be administered to a father who challenges a petition made in family court.
It isn’t yet clear if the mother of the two children wishes for Rivera to remain a part of their lives.
Rivera is currently married with three children, all of whom he lives within New York. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame after making 652 career saves, breaking previous records.