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Tangled child support web stretches from Hong Kong to New York

Power and influence are traits that often accompany inherited or acquired wealth, characteristics many New York residents find enviable. However, mighty bank accounts and authority do not insulate individuals from legal obligations like child support or the media spotlight.

Most parents with child support disputes find a way to resolve problems with or without a court's help. Outside of the parties involved and immediate families, the issue remains relatively private. That's not the case for well-known parents whose every personal choice becomes a public event.

Warren Lichtenstein is 47, extremely rich and in charge of the New York-based holding company Steel Partners. Until 2007, the tycoon was engaged to 43-year-old socialite Annabelle Bond, an avid mountain climber, daughter to the former CEO of HSBC and mother of the couple's daughter, now 5.

The couple's relationship fizzled "amicably." The former partners moved on. Lichtenstein was recently linked with television personality Bethenny Frankel. Bond made a connection with 54-year-old Andrew Cader, the ex-CEO of Spear, Leeds and Kellogg, and part owner of pro-baseball's Tampa Bay Rays.

Lichtenstein recently filed a Manhattan lawsuit against Cader accusing him of helping Bond manipulate a child support proceeding. A Chinese court ordered Lichtenstein to pay Bond more than $40,000 a month for their daughter's support, the "largest order ever rendered in Hong Kong."

Court papers say Bond claimed the gifts she received from Cader were loans, inflating child support needs. Cader allegedly paid to rent an expensive Hong Kong residence for Bond and her daughter. The $26,000-per-month lease was figured in the child support award.

The New York conspiracy lawsuit seeks a minimum of $200,000. The best interests of a young child are buried somewhere in this international legal mess.

Bad feelings about an ex can cause parents to lose focus during a child support matter. Family law judges and attorneys are quick to remind litigants the underlying issue isn't about them.

Source:  nydailynews.com, "Tycoon Warren Lichtenstein dragging an owner of the Tampa Bay Rays into his costly legal battle with ex-fiance Annabelle Bond" Daniel Beekman, Apr. 25, 2013

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