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Former NFL star jailed over unpaid alimony, child support

The failure of a Florida resident to make timely child support and alimony payments can result in the imposition of significant penalties. Those penalties can include, but are not limited to, fines, jail time and other legal consequences. Punishments for missing family law payments can affect all obligated individuals, from those of meager means up to those who have earned significant incomes during their lives.

Recently, a former National Football League (NFL) star was imprisoned for falling behind on his child support and alimony payments. Robert Meachem, who played for the New Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers, owed his ex-wife around $400,000 in missed support payments when he was sentenced to 30 days in jail. However, Meachem was able to pay his ex $100,000 and was then released from jail after spending only three days inside.

Over the course of his football career, Meachem is estimated to have made around $20 million over eight years in the league. Despite his significant income, his failure to stay current on two important family law financial obligations subjected him to the significant punishment of spending time behind bars. It is unclear if Meachem will have to return to jail if he does not provide his ex-wife with the remaining $300,000 she and their children are owed.

There are many reasons that individuals can fall behind on their alimony and child support payments. From changes in their financial circumstances to changes in the ex-spouses or children's needs, the amount of money an obligated party can or should pay can vary. When a party's capacity to pay changes or the sum a receiving party needs to survive alters, it is possible for the parties to seek a modification to their operating alimony or child support orders. Modifications can help keep obligated payers on schedule with the financial responsibilities they carry.

Source: ESPN, "Robert Meachem released from jail in alimony, child support case," Mike Triplett, Feb. 16, 2017

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