RACINE - H. Fisk Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of SC Johnson, has ended his divorce case by agreeing to pay $38,000 per month in child support.
Johnson, 48, has a 6-year-old daughter with his ex-wife, Dr. Susan Lochhead, an emergency room physician who gave up her practice to raise the couple's daughter.
The child-support agreement reached Wednesday in an Illinois court ended the 3-year-old divorce case. Johnson had been married for 13 months to Lochhead, also 48. They had known each other since they were both 4 years old.
"I honestly don't think I was taken advantage of" because of my wealth, Johnson said Thursday.
"My No. 1 priority through the whole thing was the welfare of my daughter," he said. "I didn't feel it was in her best interests to go to trial and have this dragged out in the newspapers. The decision I made to settle was one, I believed, that was right for my daughter in the long run."
On the other hand, he said he didn't accede to his ex-wife's "considerably" higher child support demands because he did not want his daughter "showered with extravagances."
So the decision about child support, he said, was not an easy one: "I really believe that money has to be kept in the proper perspective."
Johnson, son of the late Sam Johnson, had previously agreed to pay for all his daughter's education, summer camps and vacations. His child-support payments will be in addition to those expenses.
The agreement also requires him to contribute more than $300,000 toward the purchase of a home for his ex-wife and daughter, plus additional money for furniture and a security system for the home.
The couple had a multimilliondollar prenuptial agreement, leaving only the support payment left to sort out in court.
Illinois law dictates that the parent responsible for child support - usually the father - must pay 20 percent of take-home pay for one child.
But in a case such as Johnson's, in which his annual pay is in the millions, the court seeks only enough money to maintain the child in the lifestyle he or she would have enjoyed had the parents remained married.
Johnson said the divorce has not hurt his relationship with his daughter.
"Not in the least," he said. "If anything, it has strengthened it. … Going through this divorce forced me to be even more focused on being the best parent I can be.
"That's not to say it's easy on my daughter going through this."
The couple was married in Aspen, Colo., and divided their time between Chicago and Racine.
Johnson said the divorce will not change his own living situation. His primary home is in the Racine area, but he owns a home in Chicago because of his daughter.
Forbes estimates Johnson's net worth at about $1.5 billion.