NFL stars may modify child support orders due to significant changes in income. In yet another example of how celebrity lives are not like the rest of us, the ex-wife of former NFL star Michael Strahan is demanding that he pay more than $500,000 for back child support and half the cost of their children’s horseback lessons. The former couple’s twin daughters are accomplished horseback riders, and they are enrolled in some pricey lessons. Strahan’s ex claims to have paid $450,802 for the little equestrians since 2017. She is demanding that the former Giant’s defensive end reimburse half of that figure.
She is also demanding payment of back child support in the amount of $321,654. The couple married in 1999 and finalized their divorce in 2006. Under the initial agreement, Strahan had to pay $18,000 per month. The judge modified the order in 2009, lowering the monthly payment amount to $13,000. His ex-wife is now seeking another support modification based on Strahan’s increased income from television appearances on Good Morning America and Fox NFL Sunday. She wants the monthly payment increased to $18,378.
Strahan’s ex-wife claims she and Strahan agreed to split the expenses of the horseback lessons and that he never paid. If they did have such an agreement in place, the court could find Strahan to owe the money for the lessons. In many cases, it is possible to seek a modification of a child support order if a party’s financial circumstances have changed significantly.
For many football stars, their incomes can change dramatically over a short period of time. While signing with a team can often net an NFL player one hefty payday, they can be cut from the team anytime. This may leave them unable to meet their child support obligations which can lead NFL stars to modify child support orders.
In 2005, Franklin Gore signed a rookie contract in the National Football League. He had very little assets and a modest income. He had a son with Shasta Smith with whom he had a mediated settlement for his child support obligation.
6 years later, the mother went to a Florida court to ask for an upward modification in child support payments. The father’s income had increased massively as one of the top running backs in the league. This was something that both of them could not have expected at the time of settlement.
With a contract paying him an average of $7 million per year followed by a $6 million per year contract, the father had achieved great wealth. He now had an increased ability to pay child support to meet the growing needs of his son. This would be in the child’s best interests. Franklin Gore, the father, was ordered to pay $5,665.80 per month from $4,000 in monthly child support previously.
The law allows your attorney to make a case to the judge to ask for an upward modification if the two conditions can be proved:
- Tthe father or mother of your children has had a significant increase in income
- Your children have increasing expenses that warrant an upward modification
Here are two cases of former professional football players who could not afford their obligations.
Missing Payments Due To Drop In Income
Former football player Andre Rison owed $300,000 in child support payments. Even after he had been ordered to pay $1,000 per month in child support, he could not afford it. He earned less than $10,000 per year as a high school football coach and received $3,300 monthly in disability benefits after his professional sports career ended.
He turned himself in after the judge was expected to order an arrest warrant for him.
Unable To Meet Payments Of $50,000 Per Month To 4 Mothers
Terrell Owens struggled to continue paying his court-ordered monthly payments as a parent of 4 children from 4 mothers. No team had signed him and he had no income. He had to request reductions in his child support payment. In addition, he put houses up for sale to meet his legal obligations as a parent.
If you have a change in your situation due to events like a job loss that have caused a genuine financial need, your attorney or law firm may look for ways to modify your existing obligation to make it easier for you to support your kids.
Modifying Your Order
Parents in Texas who have questions about divorce or child support might want to meet with a family law attorney for a consultation. This includes the circumstances under which a court might grant a modification. A lawyer may also be able to help parents negotiate the terms of property division during divorce or file a petition to begin divorce proceedings.
If you need help, let the award-winning Family Law experts at Sean Lynch law firm help you prepare your legal case. We have decades of experience in family law.
Contact us today for a no-cost case review.