A Georgia child support order isn't a suggestion. Non-custodial parents who do not keep up with their child support obligations can face serious legal consequences. They can even be jailed for contempt.
It appears that former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield is about to learn this lesson the hard way. Holyfield reportedly owes more than $372,000 in back child support. Now, the state has requested a judge's order to put Holyfield in jail and garnish his wages until his debts are satisfied.
This particular case is being pursued on behalf of Holyfield's 18-year-old daughter. The state alleges that Holyfield has not financially supported his daughter since April 2010. In 2000, a California court ordered him to pay just over $19,270 per month for this child.
All told, Holyfield has fathered 12 children by six women. By some accounts, his cumulative outstanding child support obligations top $500,000. He has faced enforcement actions in Georgia, Texas, and California.
In his defense, Holyfield says that he enjoys good relationships with his children, but that he has fallen on financial hard times since leaving professional boxing. In recent years, Holyfield has faced a number of public financial stresses, including the foreclosure of his Fayette County home.
Georgia Child Support Modifications
Non-custodial parents who are having trouble keeping up with their child support payments can learn a valuable lesson from Holyfield's case - it is almost always better to confront child support problems head-on than to let them fester and compound.
Georgia's parents can seek child support modifications if there has been a significant change in financial circumstances. Modification can bring payments down to a manageable level while preventing legal complications and contempt charges.