Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law

NFL and NBA Players May Request Reduced Support Payments

Pro football players for the NFL are already locked out of their workplace, and basketball players for the NBA could find themselves in a similar situation within months. If the standoffs with owners continue into the football and basketball seasons, many professional athletes could find themselves without paychecks.

In anticipation of being without their normal income, many players are reportedly poised to seek reductions in their child support and/or alimony payments.

If athletes do seek reductions in their support payments, Pittsburgh child support attorneys would note that this would follow in the footsteps of Wall Street executives who also moved to reduce support payments when they lost their jobs or lost significant income in the financial crisis.

Some observers point out that athletes have agents, lawyers and unions looking out for their financial well-being, but the ex-wives and mothers that receive support from them don't necessarily have powerful advocates on their side.

In any case, a request for a modification is not the same as a judge granting that request. Many courts in Pennsylvania and across the country may be reluctant to reduce support payments for athletes based on what will probably be a temporary work stoppage. Football and basketball players may be forced to sell some assets to make support payments before courts would be willing to grant reductions in alimony or child support.

NFL players make $1.8 million a year, on average. NBA players average closer to $6 million a year. By one estimate, 80 percent of professional athletes have child support or alimony obligations. For the sake of everyone involved, it would be better if the leagues were able to settle their revenue disputes.

Source: Bloomberg "NFL Players Poised to Cut Alimony, Making Wives Industry Dispute Victims" 5/9/2011

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