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Former NFL player may be in contempt of court

Pennsylvania NFL fans may have heard that Robert Meacham, a former New Orleans Saints receiver has been involved in child support disputes with his ex-wife. Meacham was married for almost six years and had two children with his former wife. The two divorced in 2014.

On Nov. 28, a judge made a preliminary ruling that Meacham was in contempt of court because he owed almost $400,000 in alimony and child support and because neither he nor a representative appeared at the hearing. On Dec. 21, a second ruling is tentatively scheduled where Meacham will have the opportunity to appeal. He could face a fine and jail time if the charges of contempt are upheld.

A court hearing officer recommended that Meacham pay $20,000 per month to his ex-wife for child support owed from July 2014 and an additional $8,667 for part of June 2014. Of that total of $588,667, Meacham still owes $388,019. Another hearing officer has recommended that Meacham should be required to pay the entire debt by Dec. 20 in order to avoid punishment for contempt of court.

While the legal system recognizes that a parent may be unable to comply with a child support order due to a change in financial circumstances, the solution is not to simply stop making payments. It is necessary to seek a modification through the court system. Family law attorneys will remind their clients that even if the court reduces the amount, the modification is prospective only and does not apply to any arrearages.

Source: The New Orleans Advocate, "Ex-Saint Robert Meachem said to owe nearly $400K in child support, alimony", Ramon Vargas, Nov. 29, 2016

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