By Inna G. Materese | Esquire

According to Jefferson Parish, Louisiana court records, Former Saints and Chargers receiver Robert Meachem will serve 30 days in jail after failing to pay almost $400,000 in alimony and child support to his ex-wife, Andrea Rhodes. The former NFL player may only be released once at least $100,000 of the owed amount is paid. 

Meachem's predicament is not unusual. When a parent fails to pay his or her child support obligation, state and federal enforcement mechanism can set in quite quickly. It is important for payor parents to understand the consequences of missing and/or failing to make timely support payments. Enforcement mechanisms can include:

  • automatic deduction of child support from the parent's paycheck
  • withholding of the child support directly from the  parent's unemployment payments, Worker’s Compensation funds, Social Security benefits or Veteran’s Disability benefits
  • garnishment of wages and income
  • attachment of a lien against real property, such as a home
  • seizure of bank accounts
  • seizure of a personal injury settlement
  • restriction or revocation of an occupational or professional license
  • restriction or revocation of a driver’s license and passport
  • restriction or revocation ofa recreational licenses, such as a fishing license
  • interception of federal or state tax refunds
  • interception of lottery winnings
  • reporting of the child support debt to credit reporting agencies, resulting in a negative credit report.
  • Jail time. 

Ultimately, failing to make payments may cost you more than just the amount of your monthly obligation.