Florida NFL fans may be familiar with Robert Meachem, the former running back for the New Orleans Saints who helped his team to a Super Bowl victory in 2010. According to news reports, Meachem is now potentially facing jail time for allegedly owing nearing $400,000 in child support and alimony arrears.

Meachem and his wife divorced in 2014 after six years of marriage and two children. He was ordered to pay $20,000 per month in support to his ex-wife. To date, he has reportedly paid $200,648, leaving a balance owed of $388,019.

A judge in Louisiana issued a preliminary ruling on Nov. 28 finding that Meachem owed the claimed amount and stating that he should be held in contempt of court. Meachem failed to attend the hearing. A new hearing date was set for Dec. 21. Meachem can contest the court’s preliminary ruling in writing or in person at the hearing. It is likely that he will need to pay the entire amount owed or face a jail sentence.

The failure to pay court-ordered child support can lead to significant consequences, including wage garnishment, interception of tax returns and in some cases incarceration. People whose financial circumstances have changed adversely since the issuance of the order may want to meet with a child support attorney in order to determine how to proceed. The attorney might recommend the filing of a motion with the court that issued the order seeking a modification of the amount. However, even it if it is granted, such a modification will have no effect on any amounts that are in arrears.

Source: The New Orleans Advocate, “Ex-Saint Robert Meachem said to owe nearly $400K in child support, alimony,” Ramon Vargas, Nov. 29, 2016