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'Real Housewives' cast member wins child support battle

Spokane, Washington, residents who are dealing with missed child support payments can relate to the difficulties and hardships a missed payment can cause. In addition to the financial strain, it can also create an emotional toll.

After a long child support bout with her ex-husband, former "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Sheree Whitfield has been awarded a payment of $75,000. Per the agreement, ex-husband Bob Whitfield has until Nov. 11 to pay.

The reality television show highlighted the difficulties the star was having collecting child support payments from her ex-husband, a former NFL player. Although Bob Whitfield signed a contract with the Atlanta Falcons for approximately $30 million in 2000, he reportedly missed 38 consecutive child support payments.

Originally, Bob Whitfield had been ordered to pay $2,142 a month. However, as a result of the missed payments, he was ordered to make one lump sum payment in the amount of $75,000. Additionally, the award revised the original payment plan to a reduced $1000 a month for one year. After the year, the original monthly payments of $2,142 will be reinstated.

When an ex fails to pay child support, there are a number of consequences that can be imposed upon him or her. This might include the garnishment of wages, property seizure, withheld federal tax refunds, as well as the suspension of an occupational or driving license. Although only utilized as a final option, jail time can also be imposed.

Additionally, when someone falls behind on child support payments, a court can order the parent to pay the past due amount. When it comes to child support, courts are very serious about enforcement.

The emotional and financial strain placed on one parent to support a child can be very difficult. It is important to know that there are legal options available that can help parents obtain child support.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Sheree Whitfield's Child Support Case Settled: Former 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Star To Receive $75,000 From Ex-Husband," Oct. 22, 2012

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