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Court may dismiss Owens's petition to modify child support order

Football season will begin soon, which is welcome news to many sports fans in Florida, where the sport is extremely popular. Teams have already reported to camp and have been practicing in preparation for the fall. Those who follow the pro game have probably noticed the return of one prominent star of the National Football League. Terrell Owens appears ready to attempt a comeback, signing a one-year contract with the Seahawks.

How does this relate to family law issues? Owens is required to pay child support for his four children, and has been having a difficult time doing so. Although he earned tens of millions of dollars during his long career, the star wide receiver says that he cannot make the nearly $45,000 monthly payments.

Owens had sought to change the amount of child support as his income from football fell. In general, courts allow payors to modify child support orders when their economic circumstances change significantly. For example, if a paying parent loses a job, a court may alter the required level of support.

Now that Owens has a new contract, however, the mother of one of his children has moved to dismiss Owens's modification petition. It is not yet known what Owens is expected to receive as compensation from the Seahawks, but the value of the contract will likely play a role in the judge's ruling on the motion. Had it been successful, Owens's petition would have lowered the $5,000 he pays each month to support that particular child.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "T.O.'s contract could affect child support case," Joel Provano, Aug. 8, 2012.

• Other circumstances, such as child relocation matters, may also be grounds for modification. If you would like more information on modification, please visit our Florida child support page.

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