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Palin's daughter seeks child support from ex

Sarah Palin's oldest daughter, Bristol, is seeking child support from the young man who fathered her one-year-old son.

Documents filed in Superior Court in Palmer shows Bristol Palin is seeking $1,750 (€1,230) a month from 19-year-old Levi Johnston, her former fiance. Their son, Tripp, was born in December 2008.

Sarah Palin was the Republican candidate for vice-president in 2008 when it was revealed Bristol was pregnant. Palin said the teenage couple would marry and they both appeared at the nominating convention, but separated shortly after.

Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein said Alaska law makes clear that a parent of a child is obligated to provide support.

"It is unfortunate Bristol has to seek court intervention in this regard," Van Flein said.

The details regarding child support come at the same time as Bristol is seeking full custody of the baby. She filed a petition for sole custody in early November.

Johnston, at the very least, wants joint custody, said Rex Butler, Johnston's lawyer.

The motion for child support says Bristol (19) is providing nearly 100pc of Tripp's care and that Johnston has paid only $4,400 (€3,100) in more than a year. Palin's oldest daughter is also seeking back child support of $18,350 (€12,900). The amount is based on an estimate of Johnston's income last year.

Alaska law mandates that at a minimum for one child the noncustodial parent is obligated to pay child support in the amount of 20pc of that person's adjusted annual income.

The court filing says Johnston has earned more than $105,000 (€74,300) in 2009 for various media interviews and modelling assignments. It also says he has not provided the court information on his adjusted annual income as requested.

Butler said that on several occasions Johnston wanted to give Bristol money for the baby's care, requesting that she bring Tripp with her, but she did not show up.

"He was prepared to meet her at the location she designated," Butler said. "He was hoping to at least get a chance to see his baby."

Butler said the situation as far as visitation has improved, with Johnston now being allowed a few hours on Saturday to be with Tripp.

hnews@herald.ie