When we hear about the current and potential future contract negotiations among the NFL and NBA, we tend to only see the athletes and organizational leaders as the effected parties. Recent reports, however, identify a less-obvious effect that possible lockouts might have in regards to family law.
According to a source cited in Bloomberg, an estimated 80 percent of professional athletes are somehow party to a child support and/or spousal support agreement. Terms of those financial agreements are determined based on income levels, which means that an NFL or NBA lockout could mean big changes in such family law agreements.
If NFL owners and the football players don't come to an agreement, football fans are not the only losing parties in the mix. Children and ex-wives of the players will likely wind up facing a significant decrease in the amount of monthly child and spousal support payments that they get from players.
The domino effect continues, however, in the midst of a possible lockout. Professional athletes have people who work for them, including agents. Since divorce affects so many people's lives, many of those agents or others who earn money off of professional football will also take a pay cut.
Filing for support modifications could become a widespread reality. And as we mentioned briefly in the introduction, it isn't just the NFL that could face a lockout. Bloomberg addresses how the NBA contract expires this summer, which could lead to a similar negotiation standstill as the one going on within the NFL.
We will add to this topic as the situation progresses within the NFL and possibly the NBA.
Bloomberg: "NFL Players Poised to Cut Alimony, Making Wives Industry Dispute Victims," Scott Soshnick, 9 May 2011