Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Lawsuit filed over $2.5 million in back child support

The great-great grandson of a legendary Prussian prince is being sued in a New York City family court for allegedly failing to pay $2.5 million in child support. In court filings, the ex-wife of Carl-Eduard Graf von Bismarck claims he hasn't made a single child support payment since 2011, when the couple first separated.

Bismarck, 51, and his former wife, 45, married in 2004 and officially divorced in 2014. They have two children, a 9-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter. The divorce settlement stipulated that the countess be allowed to continue her life of leisure and not take up "gainful employment." Bismarck was ordered to pay $50,000 per month in child support, and the countess was allowed continued access to the family castle in Friedrichsruh, Germany.

The countess, who left Europe in 2015, refused to name her New York address in court filings, claiming that she had reason to fear for her physical safety. In December, she took out a protection order against Bismarck that forbids him from contacting their children. The court also ordered him to submit to alcohol testing during any child visits as well as quarterly drug testing. Bismarck, a former banker and member of the German Bundestag, must provide financial information to the family court by March 14. His great-great grandfather, Otto von Bismarck, was the first chancellor of Germany.

Child support disputes can be complex, emotional and time-consuming. Many custodial parents rely on the timely receipt of court-ordered payments as an important part of their family budget. When the non-custodial parent refuses to pay, a family law attorney can often be of assistance in seeking enforcement through the court system.

Source: New York Post, "German nobleman sued in NY court for $2.5M in unpaid child support," Julia Marsh, Feb. 15, 2016

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