Thursday, May 19, 2011
Support modifications for pro athletes pending
National Football League players were locked out in March. National Basketball League players are expected to join them in June. Players for both groups are at the mercy of ongoing contract negotiations between team owners and players' unions. Right now, neither side is budging and sports agents are becoming edgy.
It's estimated that up to 80 percent of all pro-athletes are paying alimony, child support or both. Many players' financial advisors are reminding their clients that no pay equals no way to pay those bills and are recommending that players ask for support modifications.
Despite high salaries, many players are unprepared if the checks suddenly stop coming. Those who do pay support often have thousands to tens of thousands of dollars deducted each month.
Should an NFL player suddenly stop making an average yearly salary of $1.8 million, financial times could quickly become tough for all those dependent on that money.
When the ball teams don't pay the bills, players must pay and that includes health insurance. The NFL trade association says that could run about $2,000 each month for many. When those costs are multiplied by court-ordered health care costs for children or exes and the costs can run double, triple or more.
When a spouse or parent has a child support or alimony obligation, that obligation was initially calculated by looking at his income. When a parent or ex-spouse suffers an involuntary loss of income, those support obligations can quickly become too much to afford. Simply failing to pay child support or alimony can result in a contempt hearing and the possibility of jail time.
When a person suffers an involuntary loss of income, experienced family law attorneys understand the importance of requesting a downward modification from a family law judge. A successful request for a modification can reduce child support and alimony payments and eliminate the possibility of a contempt hearing.
Source: Bloomberg, "NFL Players Poised to Cut Alimony, Making Wives Industry Dispute Victim," Scott Soshnick, 5/9/20114