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NFL's Terrell Owens avoids jail time with child support payments

Professional athletes often make news that extends beyond the sports pages, many times as a result of family law issues. Back in March, for example, we discussed the case of former NBA star Dennis Rodman, who ran into legal trouble for failure to pay child support.

Another former athlete is having an easier time following through on his child support obligations. Former Dallas Cowboy Terrell Owens has been sued three times for failure to make court-ordered payments to the mother of his 7-year-old daughter. In the previous two cases, his lawyer and that of his ex-girlfriend were able to come up with a payment agreement just before the cases went to court. But last week he signed an agreement in front of a Superior Court judge and made the back payments he owed, according to court records. He also agreed to pay his daughter's mother's legal fees.

Under the agreement, which prevents him from serving any time in jail, Owens must pay $5,000 per month. The former wide receiver has repeatedly asked a judge to lower the payment amount, arguing that he no longer earns an NFL-caliber salary and can't afford to make such high payments. His daughter's mother said she's willing to discuss a possible modification.

The girl's mother and her attorney said they were pleased that T.O. signed the agreement, adding that it would be even better if Owens were personally involved in his daughter's life. According to her mother, the girl has only seen her father a total of eight to 10 times. But if he doesn't plan to be there physically, the woman's attorney said, he at least needs to support his daughter financially.

That sentiment is a common one among parents pursuing child support payments. Although every child can greatly benefit from having both parents present and interested in their lives, the next best thing is the financial support to succeed in life. Parents who feel they're running out of options to collect this support may benefit from a consultation with a family law attorney who can help them pursue the financial help they need from their children's other parent -- no matter what they do for a living.

Source: Yahoo Sports, "Former NFL player T.O. pays back child support," July 19, 2012

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