North Carolina NFL fans may have heard of ex-New Orleans Saints player Robert Meachem. On Nov. 28, a judge in New Orleans issued a preliminary ruling ordering Meachem to pay his ex-wife almost $400,000 for back child support and alimony. According to the judge, Meachem is in contempt of court for failing to adhere to the child support order that was issued over the summer.
Meachem did not appear in court to hear the preliminary ruling, but he has the option of contesting the ruling in writing or in person. A subsequent hearing for the case was scheduled to take place on Dec. 21. If the final ruling finds Meachem in contempt of court, the ex-NFL player could be fined and sentenced to jail time.
According to court records, Meachem disagrees with his ex-wife about the amount of retroactive child support that he owes. The couple was separated in 2014 and divorced in 2015. Over the summer, a domestic court officer ordered Meachem to pay $20,000 per moth for child support. The child support order was retroactive from mid-June 2014, so Meachem owed $588,677 to his ex-wife as of November. Court records show that Meachem has only paid $200,648 of the total that he owes.
A judge may issue a retroactive child support order if the parents involved were separated for a significant period of time before their divorce. This type of order could cause a noncustodial parent to owe a large amount of money all at once. As a result, such a parent may want to have the help of a family law attorney in seeking court approval of a reasonable payment plan.
Source: The New Orleans Advocate, “Ex-Saint Robert Meachem said to owe nearly $400K in child support, alimony,” Ramon Antonio Vargas, Nov. 29, 2016