According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, NFL receiver Terrell Owens was recently sued in Fulton County for failing to pay child support. T.O. sued for child support, by George Mathis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 11, 2011. Owens has a five-year-old daughter with the woman bringing the lawsuit,which alleges that Owens has not paid his August child support and told the plaintiff that he does not plan to make future payments. According to the article, Owens was ordered in May 2007 to pay$5,000 per month in child support, and made June and July payments only after being threatened with legal action.
In Georgia, if the court finds that Owens’ failure to pay his court-ordered child support is willful (i.e. he has the money to pay, but just doesn’t want to), he could be subject to sanctions for contempt, which may include license revocation and/or incarceration. Owens’ defense may be that, although he has historically made a very large salary in the NFL, he is currently not on a team and, thus, technically has no income. Perhaps he will argue that he is unable to make the large child support payments due to the fact that he is currently unemployed. I would not be surprised if he filed a modification action to lower his child support if an NFL team does not sign him. Given his historic earning potential, it will be interesting to see what the court does.