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 non-support.
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.