Earning a living as a professional athlete definitely has its perks. You probably dreamed of being a star on an NBA court or NFL field throughout your childhood. The fact that you actually were able to bring your dreams to fruition is extremely rare, as most people dream of making millions in the big leagues, but it never comes to pass. In addition to the fame and fortune you've known as a professional athlete, you've likely encountered day-to-day challenges the average Kentucky resident faces as well, like marital problems.
It is not uncommon for someone in your position to determine that his or her marriage is no longer sustainable. In fact, you may have begun coming to terms with the fact that your marriage was over even before you filed divorce papers in court. A downfall of having a lot of money, however, is that divorce and issues related to it, such as child support proceedings, can get pretty messy, especially if your ex is determined to try to gain the upper hand.
Athletes who have faced lawsuits concerning child support
Once the court orders you to pay child support for your kids, you are legally obligated to adhere to the terms of the order unless and until such time that the court grants a modification. While there are valid reasons to request a modification or even to ask permission to lower or delay payments for a time, it is never okay to simply stop making payments when you do not have the court's permission to do so. The following list shows how not paying child support caused major legal problems for some professional athletes in the past:
- Several NBA superstars have gone to court regarding child support.
- Blake Griffin was never married to the mother of his three children; however, she sued him when he failed to pay $285,000 per month in child support.
- The Indiana Pacers' Kenny Williams did jail time and had to pay more than $660,000 in compensation after an arrest for not paying child support. He reportedly lived a high-luxury lifestyle while his former wife and children survived on welfare.
- NBA star Kenny Anderson settled a lawsuit regarding unpaid child support he reportedly owed for his daughters. His ex walked away with $800,000 in the settlement.
- Child support problems are not NBA-isolated issues. Several professional football players have also faced lawsuits regarding unpaid child support. Among them are Travis Henry, Robert Meachem and Terell Owens.
- Three of four women with whom Owens has children have sued him for child support. He filed paperwork to claim that he had a monthly income of zero at one point.
- Former heavyweight boxing champion, Evander Holyfield had to make up for lost time when the court ordered him to pay his 18-year-old daughter nearly $3,000 per month because of all the child support payments he missed during her childhood.
You may relate to one or more of these situations. While such stories perhaps portray certain celebrity athletes in a negative light, this doesn't necessarily mean that every person who is late or delinquent in making child support payments is a deadbeat parent. You may have experienced a serious financial crisis, medical emergency or other life-changing situation that has made your child support payments no longer feasible.
Following the rules
Like most good parents in Kentucky, if you need to change your current child support schedule, you must submit an official request to the court for approval. State laws vary regarding such matters, so it's always best to seek clarification of the laws in your state before filing a request. It also helps to have an experienced family law advocate by your side when heading to court on any custody or support-related issue.