The NFL lockout and child support

Atlanta lawyer Randy Kessler looks at the likelihood of a National Football league lockout, and how it may affect players’ child support payments.  Kessler’s advice about reaching an agreement could work for any payor facing a work stoppage, or whose employment is inconsistent in nature (construction workers, for example):

…if the lockout lasts a while, there could be some real child support consequences. The first obvious consequence is that players may not have the cash flow to remain current on their child support obligations. Hopefully they choose correctly and pay child support before some of their other ongoing expenses (car payments, etc.). Not only should child support be at the top of the list, judges who have the power to incarcerate child support obligors may be much less sympathetic to the NFL player who was paid millions and did not save for this “rainy day”.

The next concern is litigation, two types. The first type of cases that will be brought may be the ones seeking to enforce court orders against those who have stopped or slowed their payments. The second is the actions to be filed by players to seek a reduction (temporary or permanent) of their support obligations. While courts may or may not be sympathetic, such lawsuits at least show the court that the player is not ignoring the obligation, but instead is trying to make it reflect his current financial situation. Of course lawsuits cost money so before a player files, he must feel that the work stoppage will not be short-lived.

The third, and best course of action, is for players and the women to whom they pay support, get together and reach agreements. In this way, there could be an agreed upon temporary reduction. If the player is ultimately reimbursed the full salary, then child support would be fully reimbursed. Or once the situation is resolved, there could be renewed discussions and possible agreements prior to running to court. Of course, if there is no season, players should have (and spend) more time with their children. This can also be agreed upon instead of litigated.

Are you thinking of the player I’m thinking of?

2 thoughts on “The NFL lockout and child support

  1. dcardno says:

    “judges who have the power to incarcerate child support obligors may be much less sympathetic to the NFL player who was paid millions and did not save for this “rainy day”.

    Is it fair to conclude that said judges would not expect a woman who relies on a share of an inconsistent income, such as that of a professional athlete or entertainer) to anticipate and save for a “rainy day?” It would seem that by divorce a woman gains a greater measure of financial security than one who remains married, since the still-married wife perforce shares the financial reversals of her husband (if they should occur), while the former wife does not.

    I am not sure that is the policy outcome we should be looking for – but I am not expecting judges to be deep thinkers about what might be the best outcome for society. /sarc

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s