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Georgia Divorce issues for professional athletes and their spouses

What are special concerns or strategies in cases of a professional athlete in a Georgia divorce, or more specifically, a Major League Baseball Player, or NFL Player and their retirement accounts?

Representing professional athletes and their soon to be former wives, has its own unique issues.

  • retirement benefits and accounts available to professional athletes. There is often more than one retirement account, and missing one can result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • in Major League baseball, a player may often have retirement accounts from each team he has played on, and more than this, possible from any minor league team he has played on.
  • not only will a Major League baseball player have retirement benefits under the Major League Baseball Pension Plan and the Major League Baseball Players Investment Plan, but their may also exist a 401K plan with any particular team, and there is yet another retirement plan if the player goes into coaching (the MLB Pension Plan for Non-uniformed Personnel).
  • NFL players do not have a minor league to play in, but they do have multiple retirement plans that may be applicable, such as the Bert Pell-Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan, or the NFL Player Supplemental Disability Plan; The NFL Second Career Saving Plan, or the NFL Annuity Program.

Representing professional athletes is different in other measures as well, as for example, it is not uncommon for professional athletes, upon retirement, to squander their money. It is therefore wise to use a Qualified Domestic Relations order, or other mechanisms, to transfer retirement monies before they can be invaded.

Professional athletes, particularly baseball, basketball, and NFL players, often make a lot of money during a short period of their life. Often resulting in either excessive support awards paid by the athlete, with the assumption that the athlete will continue to earn like this for years to come. But that assumption is often flawed.

The baseball, basketball, or NFL player’s wife needs to protect themselves from what may be a decline in income in the future by the athlete.

The athlete needs to protect themselves in a Georgia divorce from being overly generous, and thinking they will always earn as they presently are earning. The money, can, and does run out. Athletes who live below their means, have to use this in their defense.

The child support laws for upper income payers have the goal of supporting a child, as the child would be supported had the household stayed together. If you lived below your means, saving money, evidence should be presented as to the actual standard of living the child would have enjoyed, and not what is the absolute best standard of living one party can provide. Most athletic careers are short, and it is rational, and plainly smart to live your life with this in mind, and your children need to live within these boundaries as well. Whether or not the other parent agrees to or not.

Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.

Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm PC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.