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NFL player in dispute over child support

A number of professional athletes have been in the news over the past year, embroiled in a number of family law issues, such as child custody and child support.

The most recent case involves a professional football player, who does not dispute fathering a boy, nearly 2-years-old. The boy's mother, a resident of Houston, contends that the man is thousands of dollars behind in child support and has filed papers in the county where he plays, seeking the money.

The woman's lawyer said a Texas court ordered the man to pay $4,000 a month in child support. Later, a judge in Harris County, Texas, dropped the amount to $1,500, but the woman's attorney said the judge never signed the order. Therefore, the boy's mother is seeking the higher amount from the out-of-state court.

Her attorney said the boy's mother has unspecified health problems that affect her ability to provide for her son as a single parent.

The player, who was raised in Houston, now shares a home with a woman and their two children. He has said he is paying child support and believes he is following the court's order of support.

According to the courts in Harris County, the man has paid an average of $1,500 a month since June. The boy's mother, however, has based her filing on the $4,000 initial figure and said that the difference amounts to more than $20,000. Her petition also asks the team to withhold payments from the man's paycheck. He will earn $540,000 this season.

The parents are set to go to court in February. The man's agent said his client is doing what he is supposed to do by paying the $1,500 figure and has never missed a payment.

The two parents must come to a financial agreement for the benefit of the child. The man said he wants to have an amicable relationship with the woman and their son, and it is hoped they can achieve that.

Source: Charlotte Observer, "Houston woman: Panther owes thousands in child support," Joseph Person, Dec. 12, 2012

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