Legal and relationship expert Lauren Lake knows a thing or two about baby mama (and daddy) drama as evident by her nationally syndicated courtroom show "Lauren Lake's Paternity Court."
Ahead of the show's third season, CentricTV.com had the opportunity to pick her brain about a few celebrity cases that've been making big headlines. From child support disputes to custody battles, Lake dives deeper into the legal disputes and offers up her expert knowledge.
All rise-- court is now in session.
KIMBERLY "LIL KIM" JONES VS. JEREMY "MR. PAPERS" NEIL
Summary: Neil claims Jones has blocked him from seeing their one-year-old daughter, Royal Reign Jones Neil, ever since the couple broke up over rumors of infidelity. In June, he requested visitation rights, asking to see the child one day a week and agreed to have a court-appointed monitor supervise the visits. A publicist for Neil says he isn’t trying to take custody, he just wants to see his daughter. Last month, Jones filed her own suit, accusing Neil of being abusive throughout their relationship. He believes her claims are a ploy to prevent him from seeing his daughter.
Lake's Ruling: "As the biological father, Neil has a legal right to see his child. This is a right that cannot be taken away arbitrarily by Jones. If the abuse allegations are determined to be true, the court has the discretion to restrict his rights or require supervised visitation. Absent any proof, I would continue the agreed upon weekly supervised visitations for a period of 6 months. Then, I would revisit the issue taking into consideration the report and the recommendation of the court-appointed monitor."
HALLE BERRY VS. GABRIEL AUBRY
Summary: In June 2014, a judge ordered Berry to pay Aubry $16,000 per month in child support for their 7-year-old daughter Nahla, as well as a retroactive payment of $115,000. Berry is now asking a judge to reduce her monthly payments to $3,000 a month because she believes Aubry using the excess cash to avoid getting a job. Aubry, a former model, claims he lost a lot of work after he and Berry’s then-fiancé (now husband), Olivier Martinez, got into a physical altercation in November 2012 that landed him in the hospital with injuries to his face.
Lake's Ruling: "If there is evidence that Aubry is purposefully avoiding employment, I would amend the child support order to an amount that takes into account his true earning capacity. However, the reduction of the child support order cannot compromise Nahla's best interests."
CHRIS BROWN VS. NIA GUZMAN
Summary: Brown and Guzman reportedly settled on a child support payment plan of $10,000 per month for their one-year-old daughter Royalty, but the singer wound up only paying $2,500 per month. When Guzman allegedly demanded more money ($15,000 per month), she claims Brown stopped paying altogether because he thought the increase was ridiculous. Guzman is now demanding back child support and an increase in payments. Brown has filed a paternity suit to settle the child support and custody issues and has called for a second paternity test.
Lake's Ruling: "I would first examine what is in the best interest of the child. If there is an agreement in writing regarding the $10,000, I would uphold it. Absent any compelling reason as to why Guzman needs $5,000 more per month, the order should stand."
DWIGHT HOWARD VS. TIFFANY RENDER
Summary: Render filed a paternity suit against Howard in May, asking a court to establish Howard as the legal father of her five-year-old daughter and order him to pay child support payments. Render claims she and Howard reached a child support and custody agreement outside of court years ago, but Howard has failed to keep up with his end of the deal.
Lake's Ruling: "Is their evidence of this prior agreement? What were the terms? If so, I would ask to see proof. I would order a paternity test. If he is determined to be the biological father, his name would be placed on the birth certificate and support would be ordered. This would include back child support. However, if Howard voluntarily signs off on an acknowledgment of paternity, support would be ordered. This would include arrears and his wages to be garnished."
"Lauren Lake's Paternity Court" returns in September. Check your local listings.
(Photos from left: Vincent Sandoval/WireImage, Russell Kaye/Orion Television, Jonathan Leibson/GettyImages)