Former heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield, according to reports, is being taken to court by the Georgia Department of Human Services. The agency alleges that Holyfield owes approximately $372,000 in late child support payments.

Georgians in need of child support modification due to declines in their own financial circumstances can learn from Holyfield's legal issues.

Holyfield has reportedly not paid any of the $20,000-a-month child support obligations he owes for his 18-year-old daughter in more than two years. He also owes back child support for many of his other 11 children. Cumulatively, one report estimates that Holyfield may owe around $500,000 in child support.

That may sound like a lot, but perhaps not when given that Holyfield has made about $230 million during his boxing career (according to his website), but Holyfield has also suffered a series of financial struggles. As a result of those struggles and the large sums he owes in child support for his 12 children, Holyfield is now trying to reduce his child support obligations in courts across the country.

Holyfield's situation teaches the value of talking to legal counsel in order to proactively address issues before they spiral out of control. People struggling to make their child support payments should ask a judge to reduce their payments as soon as possible.

Reductions can be either temporary or permanent. Reasons that may prompt a permanent reduction in child support payments include one of the parents getting remarried, suffering a permanent disability or changing jobs.

One key thing to remember is that while a court has the power to change the amount of future child support payments, judges cannot lower payments already owed. That is why parents struggling to meet their current obligations should act quickly rather than just hoping for the best.

Source: Yahoo, "Evander Holyfield's child support problems and other former fighters and wrestlers that failed to pay," Kristin Watt, June 4, 2012; Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "TMZ: Holyfield owes $372K in child support," Christopher Seward, June 2, 2012