Saturday, March 31, 2012

Yet Another One

Yet another athlete is jailed for not paying child support.   Rather than write yet another post making the same point -- Pay Your Child Support -- I just created a new page.    On the page In Jail - Child Support you will find links to the stories on all athletes who have been jailed for not paying child support.    It will be listed by sport.   Former atheletes and current athletes will be included.    I really hope this remains a short list.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Child Support - Not a Difficult Concept

Although for some it apparently is.   Yet another former pro athlete facing jail for failure to pay child support.   This time it's Dennis Rodman.   He is the "colorful" former Bull, Spur and probably some other teams.  

Look, I get it.   Child support orders are based on your income at the time the order is entered.   However, if your income changes, see what your options are to change the order.   In Maryland, child support is modifiable based on a material change of circumstances.   Material change of circumstances means something big changed that affects child support -- like not being a pro athlete and making the big salary anymore.  

Get it taken care of before the arrears add up.   If one waits, the judge will not be amused.   In the Rodman case  his third wife (which is a whole other post) claims arrears of $800,000.    C'mon, how do you let it get that high without doing something about it.  

Rodman's excuse is that he is broke.   Which would be believable if he were not photographed all the time at parties all over the world.   How does he get to these events?  Walk?    Most likely these are paid appearances.   Which means he has income.   That means he needs to pay his damn child support before he pays for anything else.

One more time, for those who think child support is optional:   Pay. Your. Child. Support.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Only Three Things Are Sure - Death, Taxes and Child Support

A former Eagles player found out the hard way about two of those.     Freddie Mitchell, who has been out of football since 2004, was recently arrested on tax charges.   He was released on his own recognizance to resolve his back child support issue.    He apparently did not, so he is in jail for failing to pay child support.

Look, child support is a court order.    You have to pay it or you go to jail.   There are plenty of mechanisms in place to protect oneself if one cannot pay.    Failing to avail yourself of those mechanisms is just foolish.    A good family law attorney knows how to talk to the child support enforcement folks to work a deal.  

That is beside the fact that the money is for your kids.   Really, your kids should go without food and clothes because you can't get your act together?    Because that is who suffers if you don't pay child support.   Not your ex-spouse, not the spouse's new spouse, not the spouse parents, brothers, sisters, etc, who never liked you.   Not the friends who bad mouth you for not paying child support (hmmm, causal connection there).   It's the kids.  

I have heard every story in the book.   "Oh she is spending the money on herself, that is why I don't pay."   "Oh she is putting the child in daycare just to force me to pay more child support."    "She is taking the child to the doctor to run up child support and make me look bad."   "She never lets me see the kid, so why should I pay."    Guess what, none of those work with the court to get child support reduced.  Or to excuse not paying.    If she is really not letting you see the kid, then you take her back to court.   You do  not ignore your own obligations because she is doing wrong.    Two wrongs do not make a right.

It is simple -- Pay. Your. Child. Support.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Child Support Bounties

News broke this week that the New Orleans Saints had a bounty system under Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams.    He would pay defensive players $1500 for a take out (take the opposing player out of the game) and $1000 for  cart off (having a player carted off the field).    Such a system is strictly prohibited by NFL rules for obvious reasons.    There are rumors that Williams had bounty systems in place at both the Redskins where he was DC for many years and the Bills where he was head coach.   The League is investigating these rumors.   For more details, you can read or CNN/SI.  

These bounties were paid to the players in addition to their regular salary.   Leaving aside the salary cap issues, this affects the income of the players.   Now, I don't know for sure if any players owed child support or were in the midst of calculating child support, but if any were, this could have serious implications.   Every state is different in how child support is calculated.   It's not just your regular paycheck.    It can be any money you receive.   Maryland has a pretty expansive definition of income for child support purposes.   It includes, income from work. gifts, overtime, pension, divdends from stocks and bonds, social security benefits and the like.   The full list is found at Md. Family Law Code Sec. 12-201.    Bonuses can be included.   If a bonus has been earned in the past and is likely to be earned in the future, it is considered income.   The reasoning is that is for the support of the children, so the bigger the pot of income the better the children can be supported.

It is most likely that the bounties would be considered bonuses.   They were awarded for performing one's job in a certain way.    Kinda like a violent version of employee of the week.  

One could argue that there is no guarantee that a player would earn that bonus since it requires actual injury to another player.    However, given the nature of the sport, the counter argument is that injury is likely especially is one is trying to do so.  

If a player owed back child support, the bounties should have been garnished to pay that.   If a player is the midst of calculating child support, the bounties should be part of the calculation.    After all, it is for the kids.