Al Pacino came to an agreement with his girlfriend, Noor Alfallah, on child support for their son.
At 83 years old, Pacino may just be looking ahead and establishing parentage now, an attorney says.
"When you're older life is much more valuable," the expert told Insider.
Al Pacino recently established child support with his girlfriend, Noor Alfallah, for their four-month-old son, in which the actor agreed to pay $30,000 a month in support, a portion of his annual gross income, $15,000 a year toward their son's college savings account for the rest of his life, as well as other payments.
The agreement also includes $110,000 for Alfallah's relocation and the son's medical bills that won't be covered by insurance.
There were rumors about the couple's split leading up to Alfallah filing for physical custody of their child in September. But Pacino's representative told Insider at the time that the pair were still together.
Regardless of their relationship status, it may be in Pacino's best interest to swiftly set up an agreement now rather than later, Peter M. Walzer, a family law specialist, told Insider in an interview.
Avoiding a long and expensive legal proceeding
At 83 years old, Pacino, who has never married, has already gone through a bitter child custody battle with former partner Beverly D'Angelo in 2003, and the actor may just be trying to avoid going through the exhausting process again.
"When you're older, your life is much more valuable," Walzer, a founding partner of Walzer Melcher, said. "You only have so many years left and you don't want it to be spent in court with lawyers fighting somebody."
A representative for Pacino declined to provide comment for this story.
If the "Scarface" actor didn't reach an agreement now, the alternative path for Pacino could be a lengthy and expensive legal battle in which Alfallah "has the leverage of saying, 'I'm going to drag you through court for a long time unless you step up,'" Walzer said.
Earlier this year, "Yellowstone" actor Kevin Costner and his wife Christine Baumgartner went through a contentious divorce process in a Santa Barbara, California, superior court. The two sparred over child support payments and other issues before settling their divorce in September, circumventing a potentially long trial.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are another prime example of a couple that underwent a protracted legal battle because a dispute could not be swiftly settled. Jolie filed for a divorce in 2016, but the couple fought over custody for as long as five years.
According to Walzer, battling over child support would begin with a temporary support and custody hearing, which alone could cost half a million dollars and take 3 to 6 months of litigation.
Afterward, there could be a trial on the issue of support and custody, which could be another half a million dollars or more.
During that trial, witnesses could be called, bank accounts subpoenaed, and financial records inspected, something Pacino may not want to air out in court — and to Alfallah.
"Maybe he doesn't want her to know all the details about his finances in life," Walzer said.
Of course, there's also the stress of going through litigation, the attorney said.
"It's nobody's sport. Young, old, rich, poor — litigation is miserable," he added.
A 'good compromise'
Child support establishes Pacino's parentage, while Alfallah benefits from locking in support. Court papers viewed by Insider show that the two will share joint custody of their son, but Alfallah would have primary physical custody.
In addition, the agreement is more substantial than a will or an estate plan because the latter two are not binding. Pacino could always change that, Walzer said, whereas the child support agreement is binding on both.
For Alfallah's part, the 29-year-old may also seek security for herself and her child.
"The mom's probably concerned," Walzer said. "He's an old guy, he may suffer dementia, and he may die. She needs some security and who knows how strong their relationship is."
Alfallah's attorney did not respond to a request for comment sent during the weekend.
On the terms of the child support agreement, Walzer said $30,000 a month is a "good compromise" and something he would have sought out as a divorce attorney.
Settling child support without a legal fight while the actor's spokesperson tells media outlets that the two are still together is also a good and common PR strategy, Walzer said — one that also looks out for the child in the future.
"It's good for the kid if he ever goes back and sees what their parents said about each other," Walzer said. "It's better if people are going through a break-up that they put the best possible spin on it."
Read the original article on Insider