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Articles Posted in Contempt

Football star,Terrell Owens, is currently $20,000 behind on child support payments for one of his children. The mother of the child filed a petition in Atlanta court requesting that Owens be fined or jailed for his failure to pay child support.

This is the latest in money troubles for Owens. Two of his homes in Dallas are in foreclosure. He tried to get his child support obligations lowered by a court last summer, blaming the NFL lockout on his inability to pay. The court refused his request. According to a January GQ article, Owens owes nearly $45K in child support every month.

After 15 seasons in the NFL where Owens became known as much for his off-the-field antics as his ability to catch, his contract with the Cincinnati Bengals was not renewed for the 2011 season. He couldn’t find an NFL team to sign him, and he signed with the Allen Wranglers of the IFL.

For the second time this year, Terrell Owens (hereinafter “TO”) fell behind in his child support payments to the mother of his child. TO was due in court last Tuesday on a contempt charge because he failed to make two months payment plus $10,000.

This past July, TO claimed that he could only afford to pay $2,500 per month. The Judge denied his request and he settled by paying $10,000 owed for the months of June and July in addition to payment of his ex’s attorney fees.

Additionally, TO’s ex filed a second petition for contempt in Fulton County Superior Court earlier this month requesting Owens be incarcerated for not making his August and September payments. TO, star of a VH-1 reality series, reportedly earns an estimated $666,000 a month, according to his ex’s contempt filings.

I previously blogged about Terrell Owens’ (T.O.) refusal to pay child support to the mother of his child. In fact, the mother of his child even scheduled a Contempt hearing due to his failure to pay. T.O. allegedly is court ordered to pay the mother $5,000 per month in child support. Now, it turns out that T.O. has paid his child support obligation and the Contempt request has been dismisssed.

From an Orange County divorce lawyer’s perspective, there are serious consequences for one’s failure to pay child support. Like T.O.’s case, the party receiving child support could file a Contempt request. However, in order to prevail in a Contempt hearing, said party must prove that there is a valid order, the citee must have knowledge of the order, the court must find that the citee had the ability to comply with the order. Finally, to be held in contempt, the accused party must have willfully disobeyed the order.

In other extreme situations, the citee can be sent to jail for his failure to abide by court orders as discussed in this blog post.

This is quite interesting, as a member of law enforcement, a Dallas Deputy Sherrif was recently sent to jail for four hours due to his failure to pay his child support obligation.

Deputy Lonnie Burgess, who was hired in 2008, was booked in jail and released on April 4, 2011. Indeed, the Sheriff’s Department has been trying to police its own employees, having recently discovered that some of them had active warrants or owed the county money in unpaid fines.

Dallas court records show Burgess filed for divorce against his wife, Deborah, in a Dallas County family court in 2007. Said divorce was finalized in 2008. Additionally, the court docket indicates Deputy Burgess has had problems due to his failure to pay child support several times in the past. Due to said failure to pay child support, a judge has entered previous contempt orders against him. The ex-wife, Deborah Burgess, claimed in court documents that in September of last year, her husband owed more than $15,000 in back child support for the couple’s three children.

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