Former football star Terrell Owens is in hot water over allegations that he is approximately $20,000 behind in his Georgia child support obligations. The mother of Owens' child says that he has missed at least four months of payments.
Previously, Owens was facing jail time after falling behind on child support payments this past fall. He got caught up on his arrears after the mother of his child moved to have contempt charges filed. Owens briefly kept up with his payments, but then stopped again in January.
For his part, Owens has said in the past that his reasons for failing to keep up with his child support payments are twofold. First, he says that last summer's NFL lockout, combined with his subsequent move to the Indoor Football League, decreased his monthly earnings. Secondly, he owes child support to four different children, with court-ordered payments totaling $44,600 each month.
Owens requested child support modification in the Fulton County case to bring his monthly payments down from $5,000 to $2,500. The judge, though, declined to grant the request
Georgia Child Support Enforcement
In Georgia, non-custodial parents who fail to keep up with their child support obligations can be found in contempt of court and sentenced to jail. In addition, state agencies will attempt to secure child support payments by using the following tactics:
- Garnishing paychecks, workers' compensation payments or unemployment benefits
- Seizing state or federal income tax refunds
- Reporting arrears to credit reporting agencies
- Suspending the parent's driver's license and professional/occupational license
- Seizing lottery winnings that exceed $2,000
- Filing liens to seize bank accounts, settlements, real estate, and personal property
If you are having trouble keeping up with your child support payments because of a lost job or other change in circumstances, you may be able to request a modification. It's almost always better to confront child support problems head-on than to let them escalate.