A mother is facing possible jail time for contempt of court after she allegedly violated her child custody order. But the violation was not something like knowingly violating the parenting time schedule or taking the children out of state without their father's knowledge. What could land the mother in jail is something that most parents do without a second thought: baptizing her children.
It seems that hardly a month goes by where former professional football player Terrell Owens does not make the news for something that is not football-related. In fact, in the past six months we have blogged about Owens' child support and other family law troubles at least six times. Most recently, we blogged about Owens' successful attempt at a downward modification of his child support obligation.
Earlier this week, we began a discussion of a lawsuit that is currently pending in Fulton County Superior Court. Recently, the judge presiding over the suit granted the plaintiffs' motion for class-action status, a major step toward success in the case.
Last week, we reported on the nearly $20 million increase in child support collection from 2009 to 2010 in Georgia. Certainly, that is a positive development. Many parents rely on child support payments to pay their bills and make ends meet, and the state should do everything it can to help single parents get the money they need and deserve.
It seems that not a month goes by without some family court complaint or criminal charges being filed against professional football player Terrell Owens regarding unpaid child support. In the latest installment of Owens' ongoing child support drama, a warrant for his arrest was recently rescinded after he made his court-ordered child support payment to the mother one of his four children. It only remains to be seen whether Owens will be back in court next month on similar charges.
In recent months, we have blogged about professional football player Terrell Owens and his repeated run-ins with the Fulton County family court system regarding his alleged failure to pay his court-ordered child support. Now, it appears that the threat of jail time for contempt has again motivated Owens to make good on his child support payments.
Earlier this week, we began a discussion of the court cases against parents for their failure to pay child support. Because these are civil matters, there is no constitutional requirement that defendants be provided an attorney for their hearings, as there is for criminal cases. However, the hearings often result in a jail sentence or other negative consequences for indigent defendants who are unable to make their child support payments, which advocates claim is unfair and possibly even unconstitutional.
Under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, no person may be "deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law." Traditionally, this has been interpreted to require that anyone who is accused of a crime be given a fair trial. Because one factor of a fair trial is the provision of an attorney, the public defender program provides defendants with a defense attorney if they cannot afford to retain one. As many defendants have little experience with the law and the legal system, this attorney can make the difference between freedom and jail time.
Several Georgia technical colleges have lost funding for their long-running fatherhood programs, which provide education and support services to both father and mothers with the goal of strengthening families and serving the low-income community. The colleges are working to find alternative funding for the programs, but until that happens, this underserved population may again fall through the cracks.
The mother of a child of Terrell Owens' has filed court papers in Fulton County, asking a judge to charge the football player with contempt after he allegedly failed to pay his court-ordered child support for the month of June. The mother claims that she was told by Owens' financial advisors that he recently decided to no longer make the full $5,000 per month child support payment.