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Ex-football player serving time for unpaid support

Former NFL wide receiver Robert Meachem began serving a 30-day jail sentence on Feb. 13 for unpaid alimony and child support in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. San Jose residents might be interested in this information, since failing to pay child support in California as well might lead to having to serve jail time.

According to court records, the former athlete was originally ordered to pay $588,000 in alimony and child support to his ex-wife, of which he had paid only $200,000. The couple divorced in 2015 and agreed to split custody of their two children. Meachem will be allowed to leave jail when he pays an additional $100,000.

Though Meachem earned an estimated $20 million during his 8-year career in football, he claimed that he does not have the money because he did not pay attention to his bank accounts and one of the executives at one of his foundations withdrew much of the money. He also claimed that he had to borrow money from his NFL colleagues to survive. His wife countered that Meachem illegally withdrew millions from their joint bank accounts. A judge denied Meachem's request for a new trial and charged him an additional $500 since he did not procure an assistant who was supposed to testify about his finances.

The penalties for failing to pay child support can be very strong. A custodial parent who is owed support might want to contact an attorney to learn about how to enforce an existing order. Potential collection methods could include wage garnishment and income tax refund interceptions.

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