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Bay Area Family Attorneys > Blog > Child Support > A Tale Of Caution: Former NBA Player Ordered To Pay Six Figures In Back Child Support

A Tale Of Caution: Former NBA Player Ordered To Pay Six Figures In Back Child Support


Matt Barnes, who formerly played for NBA team the Golden State Warriors, was recently ordered by the California court system to pay a whopping $133,976.54 in child support for his twin sons with his ex-wife Gloria Govan.

Mr. Barnes and his ex-wife separated in 2014 and their divorce was finalized in 2016. The marriage resulted in two twin sons, and Mr. Barnes was initially ordered by the court to pay $20,000 a month to Ms. Govan in child support. This amount was later reduced to $7,000 a month, which was a reflection in changes to the custody order.

The custody arrangements were dramatically changed, in fact, as Barnes at one point was granted a restraining order against Ms. Govan on behalf of their children. The restraining order permitted the boys’ mother only four hours of monitored visitation a week.

In spite of the later dramas that unfolded, the child support agreement was never altered. Mr. Barnes retained the obligation to pay the child support as ordered in the child support order.

This sensational story serves as a tale of caution for divorcing parents who will have child support agreements put in place. It is vitally important that you understand your obligations as you move forward so you can avoid unexpected bills.

What is “Back Child Support”?

Most people are familiar with the concept of child support – a set amount of money that one parent is ordered to pay to their co-parent that serves to help support in the care and raising of their child. But what, exactly, is “back child support” and when is it ordered to be paid?

Well, child support itself is a strict system in the state of California. Both California law and Federal law requires that parents pay the amount specified in the child support order. If a parent fails to pay the set amount then a “back support” order may be entered. A back support order demands that the parent pay the entire amount that they are delinquent on in one lump sum. The court may also stipulate that the delinquent parent must also pay interest and/or punitive fines. A continued failure to pay might result in wage garnishment and losing your tax return, among other penalties.

How to Avoid Back Support Payment Orders

The best way to avoid being ordered to pay a back support order is to ensure you understand your obligations under child support, and fulfill your duties. Do not become delinquent in payments – this could give your co-parent grounds to claim that you should be ordered to pay back support. There are often ways to automate payment of child support or have it taken directly from your paycheck so it is not something you even need to stress over.

It is also critically important that you make the court aware if you want to contest the ordered amount of child support, and/or if your financial situation changes. The child support you were ordered to pay was deemed reasonable by the court based on information and data accessible to the court at the time of the ruling. If other information needs to be brought to light, or if the situation changes – such as the parent paying child support losing their job – the court may lower the amount the parent is obligated to pay. Requesting that the court make this modification is crucial – the change is not automatically implemented. Changing an obligation under a child support order is something that must be pursued correctly with the court system.

Contact Cardwell, Steigerwald Young

Child support is meant to ensure that children receive proper care – it is not intended to be an undue burden or source of strife. The experienced San Francisco child support lawyers at Cardwell, Steigerwald Young can help every parent seeking to come to the right resolution for their family. Contact our team to speak with an experienced attorney today.




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