Terrell Owens child support woes are far from over

Last month, our blog discussed the ongoing saga surrounding former star wide receiver Terrell Owens and his failure to pay child support. Specifically, we discussed how Owens failed to show up at a court hearing in Fulton County, Georgia, regarding the $20,000 in back child support he owed to Melanie Paige-Smith, the mother of one of his four children.

Here, the presiding judge was understandably upset by Owens’ absence and declared that the hearing would be reset for the following week. Furthermore, he indicated that Owens could be put in jail if he failed to attend.

Apparently the threat worked as Owens arrived at the court hearing the following week. Here, it was announced by attorneys that both sides had already reached an agreement whereby Owens would pay both the back child support and Paige-Smith’s attorney fees. Owens then signed the agreement before the judge.

Over the course of the last year, Paige-Smith has filed multiple contempt of court petitions seeking to have Owens either put behind bars or fined for failing to pay her the $5,000 a month in child support that she is owed under the terms of an agreement.

For his part, Owens is currently seeking to have the $5,000 a month in child support reduced. However, this may prove difficult in light of recent developments.

Owens signed a one-year contract to play for the Seattle Seahawks last week. The terms of the deal were not released.

Nevertheless, Randall Kessler, Paige-Smith’s attorney, has already indicated that he will be moving to dismiss Owens’ request for a reduction in child support due to his presumed newfound wealth.

“Now that Terrell Owens has a new contract with the Seattle Seahawks, we will soon file a motion to dismiss the request for a reduction in child support he filed last month,” said Kessler. “We are glad that he is back in the NFL and wish him the best. This will benefit him and his children.”

It is worth noting that Owens previously claimed that his child support arrears could be attributed to financial issues caused by the NFL labor strike and asked the family court judge to lower his monthly child support payment to $2,500.

The family court judge ultimately refused this request, and Owens ended up paying Paige-Smith $10,000 in child support for June 2011 and July 2011, as well as court costs and attorney fees.

Owens has played for multiple teams since entering the NFL in 1996, including the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, and Cincinnati Bengals. He has not played in the NFL since 2010, and has admitted to having major money problems.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about child support arrears or post-divorce issues, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


The Atlanta Journal Constitution, “T.O.’s contract could affect child support case,” Joel Provano, Aug. 8, 2012

ESPN, “Terrell Owens makes payments,” Associated Press, July 19, 2012