NFL Player Fumbles on Texas Child Support Issues

An El Paso girl was 17 and pregnant when the baby’s father graduated from high school. The young man’s obligation to provide financial support for the child was waived as the Texas dad pursued an East Coast education.

Three years after the child’s birth, John Skelton joined the National Football League. The quarterback was selected in 2010 for a well-paying position with the Arizona Cardinals.

The child’s mother was in El Paso, struggling to mature into a competent single parent. The unidentified woman said she did not begrudge the baby’s father his success, although the young mother felt it was time for Skelton to help support his daughter.

The woman claimed the NFL quarterback agreed to pay child support after graduating from Fordham University. That was a promise Skelton apparently did not honor.

Skelton challenged the child support request in court by claiming the baby was not his. A court-ordered paternity test proved Skelton was the father. A child support lien was issued, which prohibited Skelton from selling assets until the back-owed support of over nine-thousand dollars was paid.

The quarterback’s paycheck was garnished. The monthly withholding of $267 was increased to $2,000 as Skelton’s football career flourished. The judgment did not resolve support issues between the unmarried parents.

Skelton was back in court this spring for falling behind $19,000 in support payments. Along with an order to clear his debt, a judge told Skelton to cover health insurance for the girl and obtain a personal life insurance policy to benefit the child.

Many noncustodial parents can be shocked by a court’s demands. Texas laws permit custodial parents to request up to four years of overdue child support.

Reports did not say whether the initial support agreement included this, although it appeared to. The court stepped in, as it does in all child support disputes, to ensure the child’s needs are a priority for both parents.

Source:, “John Skelton’s Court Dispute” Asher Wildman, May. 30, 2013

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