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NFL team wants Houston child-support petition dismissed

It may be the offseason for the National Football League, but one player-related battle is taking place in Texas and North Carolina courtrooms. The legal contest involves child support, a mother and her 2-year-old son and a professional football player.

Houston football fans may remember Brandon LaFell, a Texas high school football star who is an emerging NFL star at wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers. Apparently, the mother of his young son, who resides in Houston, is petitioning a North Carolina court to order the Panthers to withhold child support from La Fell's pay. The team has filed a countermotion seeking to dismiss the woman's claim.

In a petition filed in November of 2012, the woman alleges that LaFell owes $4,000 a month in payments. LaFell's attorneys say he's been fully compliant with his required monthly payments of $1,500 a month, the maximum amount allowed for one child under Texas law. LaFell stated in December that he is satisfying his monthly payments and obligations.

The Panthers have asked the court to dismiss the petition against the team because of jurisdictional concerns, but the team has said that it will comply with a valid court order. The order that LaFell has been following in paying child support falls under Texas jurisdiction.

Parents might be compelled to ask a court to increase or decrease child-support payments for several reasons. Failure to pay child support can severely affect both the parent who is supposed to pay and the child. But, the child's quality of life is always at issue, as are the child's basic needs and everyday expenses. Those who are struggling to meet their child-support obligations or who feel their child support is inadequate may have legal options available for modifying child-support orders.

Source: Charlotte Observer, "Panthers want LaFell petition dismissed," Joseph Person, Feb. 6, 2013

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