So many people are delinquent in paying child support, there is a whole federal bureau designated to its enforcement. The Office of Child Support Enforcement tries its best to help people who can’t afford child support and people who can’t afford to be gypped child support, but they’re merely putting a dent in the over $100 billion owed to mothers and fathers who legally deserve the payments. CNN Money explained that child support delinquencies cost taxpayers an estimated $53 billion in 2012.
The chains of child support certainly don’t escape the rich and famous, with some celebrities’ child support payments apparently getting lost in the mail. Here’s a look at Hollywood to see who paid their 17 percent per child, and who didn’t.
When things turn sour, many people run away. Below are a few examples of celebrities who apparently tried to ignore the problem of child support payments rather than deal with it.
Levi Johnston: After a highly public bout with marriage, Sarah Palin’s ex-almost-son-in-law managed to spend $1 million on dirt bikes and four wheelers instead of making his court-mandated child support payments totaling $21,000. Boys and their toys. (TMZ)
Jon Gosselin: After making tons of money on his kids and his wife by getting a television show dedicated to their very full house, Jon of Jon and Kate Plus 8 decided he no longer really wanted to support the household he vacated. In an interview, he said Kate pays household costs at her house, and he pays household costs at his.
Allen Iverson: In a (not very) shocking announcement in 2013, Allen Iverson of basketball fame announced angrily that he no longer had as much money as he used to, citing this as a reason to skip out on his child support payments. Since his ex-wife got tired of hunting him down every month to make him hand over the check, she took him to court to get the whole amount in a one-and-done lump sum.
Skeet Ulrich: After his ‘90s fame came to a halt, actor Skeet Ulrich apparently could not afford his children anymore, and stopped making child support payments. The situation got real when he was held in contempt of court after letting his back payments rack up to almost $290,000.
It’s always better to end on a positive note. Below are some celebrities who, despite being asked to give a lot to their pesky children, have thus far done their duty and paid up.
Russell Simmons: According to TheRichest.com, Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons pays $40,000 per month in child support to be split between his two daughters, to whom he has also legally promised new cars when they turn 16. Until they get the cars of their own, Simmons buys a new car worth at least $60,000 for them to be transported in.
Terrell Owens: Even after many purported financial troubles, Terrell Owens has apparently managed to squeeze out approximately $44K per each of his four kids per month. While his financial forecast is not looking good, Owens has not yet made any lists of celebrities with egregiously outstanding child support payments.
Donald Trump: The Trump paid about $300,000 per year (equaling almost $500,000 per year today) in child support after his high profile divorce in the 1990s, according to a New York news station. This number seems surprisingly low, seeing as his post-divorce alimony payments were $350,000 and the former Mrs. Trump got the house.
Britney Spears: Pop princess Britney Spears is one of the few ladies who makes the list of people who pay big bucks in child support. After a sad public decline in her mental health, Spears signed up to pay $20,000 per month in child support.
While it can be interesting to see which celebrities fall behind on their court-mandated duties, not being able to pay child support is no joke. Selling a diamond may help raise the cash needed to either pay child support, or to make up for someone else who fails to do their part.