When he left his Texas high school for college, quarterback John Skelton left behind a pregnant girlfriend. She now says he owes her back child support for their daughter. Court records confirm that Skelton, who recently was picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals, owes more than $19,000 in back child support payments. The mother of the seven-year-old says Skelton acknowledged he was the girl’s father and agreed to be financially responsible for her when he left college. However, after he began earning a salary from the Arizona Cardinals football team, Skelton apparently changed his tune. He challenged the girl’s paternity, and a court-ordered paternity test confirmed he was indeed the father. Then, in 2010, the Texas attorney general issued a notice of child support lien ordering Skelton to make delinquent child support payments. The Arizona Cardinals were required to withhold $267 per month out of Skelton’s paycheck. That amount later increased to $2,000 a month. The court also ordered Skelton to pay for health care insurance for the girl and to purchase a life insurance policy for himself naming his daughter as the beneficiary. It appears Skelton now may be ready to accept his responsibility to his daughter. According to the girl’s mother, Skelton said earlier this year that he wants to be a better father and have a bigger role in his daughter’s life. Disputes over child support are not uncommon. The Skelton case illustrates a necessary first step in many such disputes: to establish a parent-child relationship. If the child’s parents were not married at the time the child was born and the father disputes paternity, the court will order a DNA test to establish legal fatherhood. Once paternity is established, the court then will set the amount of the father’s continuing child support obligation. Wage garnishment is a common method to recover delinquent payments, but an attorney may help draft a support modification in order to prevent delinquent payments for parents having difficulty making payments.
Source: SBnation, “John skelton responds to child support claims“, http://www.sbnation.com/users/Josh%20Kirkendall, May 31, 2013