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Real Talk: Deadbeat Dads, Pay Your Child Support

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Allen Iverson
NBA guard Allen Iverson and former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens are the latest round of celebrity men accused of not paying their child support.

To put the accusations in context, 41.2 percent of custodial parents received the full amount of child support owed them, according to the Census Bureau Report Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2009. All in all, $35.1 billion in child support was owed in 2009 and 61 percent of that total was received.

Iverson’s wife Tawanna, also the stay-at-home mother of his five children, filed court documents that claim Iverson abruptly stopped putting money in the couples’ joint bank account. Mrs. Iverson filed for divorce in June and used the account to pay rent and provide for the couple’s five children.

Additionally, she claims that her estranged husband has been spending extravagantly, including withdrawing $20,000 from the couple’s account to pay for jewelry. Iverson, worth an estimated $20 million, contests his wife’s allegations. No court date has been set to determine child support, or other financial matters.

Owens, is also in hot water with the mother(s) of his children who jointly filed a motion that accused him of being $30,000 behind in child support payments. Samelia Miller, mother of his 5-year-old son, and Kimberly Floyd who has a 7-year-old daughter with Owens, both say he’s missed multiple payments. Miller receives $13,400 each month while Floyd receives $15,000, according to TMZ. (Owens has two more children, a daughter and son, by two women who each receive a combined $16,000 in child support).

Owens' financial difficulty has been a reoccurring topic on the VH1 series “The T.O. Show.” On a recent episode, he cries over his mounting bills and lack of income. Owens has been outspoken on his efforts to modify his child support payments, saying they were based on $12 million annual salary he earned as a player for the Dallas Cowboys, who cut him from the team in 2009.

I find myself unable to muster any sympathy for Iverson or Owens. If you take care of nothing else in your life, if you have to start selling off stuff even, you take care of the kids you created. As a parent, it’s your duty.

No one’s disputing that Iverson can’t cover the payments, so it seems there’s some beef between he and his wife and he’s revoked support to prove some sort of point.

After watching Owens bawling on his mummy’s bosom over his finances, I’m inclined to believe he’s actually fallen on hard times. And still, I have to wonder how he squandered the millions he made on the field and too, question his irresponsible decisions to have four children with four different women, which surely have added to his financial burden over the years.

Hopefully, these two will quickly get themselves and/or their finances together and start providing for the children they created.

What do you think of fathers who miss their child support payments?

Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk
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