Florida residents may be interested to hear about the case of former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem. He currently risks facing contempt charges over his failure to pay what now allegedly totals nearly $400,000. His case brings to light the very real possibility of fines and jail time that anyone who fails to pay child support may face.
According to court records, Meachem and his wife separated in 2014, and their divorce was finalized in 2015. The couple agreed to share custody of their two children. Meachem was ordered by the court to pay $20,000 per month in child support, which he didn't contest. Despite this, Meachem only ended up providing about $200,000 of what he owed. The court requested that he appear in court. When Meachem failed to do this, his wife requested the court find him in contempt.
The only way for Meachem to avoid the contempt charge would be to pay off the entire remainder of his arrears before the next scheduled court hearing. This is something he should presumably be able to do, considering he signed a $14 million guaranteed contract with the San Diego Chargers in 2012. Part of his obligation constitutes past due alimony, although the majority is unpaid child support.
The failure to pay court-ordered child support can result in severe consequences. In addition to potential jail time, the delinquent parent's paycheck could be garnished, among other collection measures. However, in the event that the failure to pay is due to an unexpected financial downturn, then the parent may want to have the help of an attorney in seeking a modification of the order that would apply to future payments.