Is It True You Don't Have to Pay Child Support After 10 Kids? A Lawyer Explains

Comments about Nick Cannon's child support recently surfaced during the sixth season of Selling Sunset

Nick Cannon Instagram
Nick Cannon Instagram

A lawyer is setting the record straight on the laws of child support after Nick Cannon's family life became a hot topic on the new season of Selling Sunset.

On season 6 of the Netflix show, newcomer Bre Tiesi, 32, was quoted as saying that Cannon doesn't have to pay child support after having 10 kids. The reality TV star and the Masked Singer host, 42, share son Legendary Love, 11 months old.

"That's true," Tiesi responded to costar Amanza Smith's question about child support. "The way it works is like, after 10, the court can basically say he can't afford to pay child support. Or because he is who he is, they could say, 'We know you can afford X amount for each household.' "

"That explains a lot, I guess," Smith responded in a confessional interview. "I'd keep going too."

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, New York City divorce attorney Marilyn Chinitz debunked Tiesi's claims and clarified what the law actually says.

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Bre Tiesi/Instagram
Bre Tiesi/Instagram

Related: Bre Tiesi Shares New Family Photos with Nick Cannon amid Child Support Comments: 'More Than Good'

“If you have a child, you have a legal obligation to support that child,” Chinitz tells PEOPLE. “Because if you don’t, it means that the state has to pay support and the state is not interested in supporting your child. So every parent has a legal obligation to pay support for their child.”

Chinitz goes on to note that Cannon “is legally obligated to pay support for [his] 12 children."

"The court will look at a variety of factors that they consider when they figure out the child support obligation, but just because you have 11 kids, 12 kids, doesn’t mean that you get a pass.”

Nick Cannon/TikTok
Nick Cannon/TikTok

In order to determine who receives the child support, the court looks at who is the custodial parent — or rather, which parent spends more than 51 percent of the time with the child, Chinitz explains.

In this case, since Cannon is presumably not living with Tiesi 51 percent of the time, he is the one that the court looks at for support. “Both parents have an obligation to pay support,” Chinitz clarifies. “It’s a question of how it gets allocated.”

The court “does look at how many children the parent is responsible for supporting,” Chinitz says. In Cannon’s case, he could argue that he has 11 children that he’s supporting, “but then the court is going to look at how many millions of dollars he earns.”

“It’s an odd comment to make,” Chinitz says of Tiesi’s quotes on the show. “And legally, completely incorrect."

Michael Buckner/Billboard via Getty
Michael Buckner/Billboard via Getty

"Nowhere in the world would you get a pass on child support if it is proven to be your child. You have a legal obligation no matter where you are, no matter how many children you have," she adds. "Your child is entitled to be supported.”

In addition to Legendary, Cannon is also dad to twins Monroe and Moroccan, 12, with ex Mariah Carey, whom he was married to from 2008 to 2016. He is also a father to sons Golden Sagon, 6, and Rise Messiah, 7 months, and daughter Powerful Queen, 2, with Brittany Bell.

He also shares twins Zion Mixolydian and Zillion Heir, who turn 2 next month, and daughter Beautiful Zeppelin, 6 months, with Abby De La Rosa. Cannon also shares daughter Onyx Ice Cole, 8 months, with LaNisha Cole. He is dad to two children with Alyssa Scott, son Zen, who died at 5 months old in December 2021 after being diagnosed with brain cancer, and daughter Halo Marie, 5 months.

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