Once the family court orders a parent to pay child support, he or she must
comply. For an example of the consequences of not paying, Georgia, Georgia
readers may want to consider the situation faced by former NFL player
B.J. Askew. Askew was recently arrested for delinquent child support payments.
Authorities arrested Askew early in January after he failed to pay more
than $267,000 in child support. In 2005, a Michigan court ordered him
to pay child support for his three children. The amount increased when
he extended his contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After failing
to pay the court-ordered amount, he made sporadic payments and paid several
arrears. He stopped making payments altogether almost two years ago.
Askew had played for several teams and had made a lot of money until a
car accident cut short his career. He is now facing one count of felony
Under Georgia family law, a non-custodial parent has the responsibility
to financially support his or her child. The child's needs can change
over time, which can have substantial impact on the custodial parent's finances.
If a custodial parent cannot collect child support, he or she must rely
on his or her own income to provide for the child's needs. Unfortunately
for custodial parents who rely only on support, non-payment means delays
in meeting the child's needs. The custodial parent can contact the
authorities to compel the responsible spouse to pay.
But changes in circumstances can make it difficult for the paying spouse
to stay current on the obligation. Limited employment and low income,
for instance, can affect a parent's ability to pay support. In those
situations, courts will consider a modification. But the obligated spouse
should act promptly and seek a modification before payments fall into arrears.
There are legal remedies to resolve child support issues. If modification
is necessary, it would be wise to seek the help of an experienced family
law attorney who knows the legal requirements for obtaining a modification
of child support.