Most residents of Florida know it is important not to disregard a child support order by the courts, but some may not realize what the outcomes of doing so are and what the punishments are for failing to stand by a legal child support order. Parents who fail to pay child support in full and on time face serious potential penalties and consequences.

Recently, Ruben Patterson, a former NBA player, pleaded guilty for failing to pay child support which could result in his imprisonment. The basketball player entered the guilty plea to a fifth-degree felony and the judge scheduled sentencing for May 23 in the case. He was indicted in 2016 on two charges of non-support of dependents also and the second charge was dismissed.

According to officials, the former player owes $106,834 in child support. Ruben Patterson, who reportedly went on to earn more than $36 million during his decade-long professional NBA career, played for several teams including the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and others. Even after his retirement from the NBA, he maintained a presence at NBA games and events.

Child support payments are very important as they are needed to raise the child. Child support payments are used for the basic needs of the child like food, clothing, primary education and medical expenses. When a parent does not make a child support payment in a timely manner, it can cause financial hardship for the custodial parent. Timeliness of child support payments is essential in order to ensure the children’s primary requirements are met.

Once the financial standing of the parents has been determined, the family law court will determine the amount of child support that is payable amongst the spouses. The law does provide for these payments to be modified if the financial situation of the parent paying child support changes.