A select number of Georgia parents may be able to relate to Jimmy King, a former Wolverines basketball standout who's come upon hard times over the last several years. Recently, the 38-year-old athlete was charged with failure to pay child support. Under the mandate of the law, failure to pay child support can lead to felony charges and a subsequent conviction could result in prison time.

Reports from the state Attorney General's office confirmed that King allegedly failed to pay in excess of $17,200 for a single child between the years 2008 and 2011. Legal representation for the athlete told reporters that his lack of payment resulted from an unexpected job loss and the sharp economic downfall. He went on to say that King was working on a resolution in order to avoid a criminal conviction. King's lawyer also stated, "by no means was he evading paying child support or taking care of his obligation."

While it may very well be true that the economic shift resulted in the athlete's inability to make child support payments, he has recently secured an adequately-paying position overseeing sports programs for a nonprofit organization. A spokesman for King confirmed that the new job should provide him with the income necessary to provide for his children. He was ordered to reappear in court in mid-October.

The economy has had an adverse effect on many people. However, child support is an area of responsibility that cannot be neglected despite financial hardship. Individuals who find themselves unable to pay child support as a result of economic difficulties are obligated to report their difficulties and make every effort to adhere to their obligatory monetary duties -- especially when the duties have a direct impact on the well-being of a child.

For Georgia residents, it doesn't matter if a parent is on the giving or receiving end of a child support agreement, legal representation may be able to offer guidance and support that will take unnecessary strain out of the child support pursuit.

Source: The UPI, "Ex-Wolverine faces child-support charge," Sept. 9, 2011