Since his playing days in Florida, former professional football player Warren Sapp has encountered a series of financial issues. Not only has the defensive tackle decided to file personal bankruptcy in the last year, but he is also seeking a legal modification of his child support payments.
Recently, Sapp filed a petition in Florida court requesting to lower the child support payments he provides to one of his six children. Currently, Sapp pays $2,500 every month to the child’s mother. Financial distress is the primary motivation behind Sapp’s recent legal maneuver.
Sapp and the child’s mother initially reached a child support agreement in 2001 while he was still earning a professional football player’s large salary. At the time, Sapp also made sure that there was a provision to prevent modifications down the road. Although this was intended to prevent the rate from increasing dramatically, it could complicate his current effort.
Reports indicate that Sapp may also be considering modifications to child support payments for his other children, but he has yet to make legal requests.
Child support is often a vital resource for parents who maintain physical custody of children after their parents split up. When the non-custodial parent fails to make monthly payments, the well-being of their children could be jeopardized. This is exactly why child support enforcement is taken so seriously in Florida and parents should be concerned about making timely payments.
It is understandable, however, that a person’s financial situation can change dramatically over the course of a few years. In Sapp’s case, he had a very high salary when he first agreed to pay the support, but now his financial situation is much different.
Although most Florida families aren’t dealing with NFL salaries, this story still has some valuable lessons. When parents have legitimate reasons to request lower — or higher — child support payments, then seeking a modification may be their best option.
Source: News One, “Warren Sapp Asks To Reduce Child Support Payment,” Ruth Manuel-Logan, Nov. 28, 2012