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Failure to pay child support causes ex-NFL player's arrest

Allegedly owing more than $267,000 in unpaid overdue payments, National Football League player B.J. Askew was arrested. He is charged with felony non-support for not paying court mandated child support for his three children. He was initially ordered to pay a total of $2,188.87 monthly, but that amount was boosted to $5,127 when he got an extended football contract.

Many fans in North Dakota have followed Askew's football career which has seen him playing as a fullback on the Wolverines, Jets, and Bucaneers teams. The court case against him now asserts that he only made sporadic child support payments, as the debt mounted up, underpaying by $107.87 on his monthly payments in 2010, and then supposedly ceasing all payments altogether in November of 2012 until the present time, despite having received multi-million dollar athletic contracts to play football.

Getting jailed for nonpayment of child support is an extreme remedy. There are a variety of enforcement mechanisms including contempt of court or garnishment of wages and assets that are more commonly used. Non-custodial parents who are unable to pay the previously assessed monthly child support amount should consult with a lawyer and possibly go back to court to seek a modification of the child support amount.

Such modifications can be granted by the court based on changed circumstances, such as a job loss, drop in income, major accident or illness, or other significant problems. The worst thing to do is to simply not pay without offering an explanation or communicating. Those having such difficulties should consult with a family law attorney before the problem festers and grows out of control as it may have done for this professional athlete.

Source: The Detroit News, "Former U-M, NFL player Askew arrested for not paying child support" No author given, Jan. 21, 2014

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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