Monday, December 15, 2008

Baseball Player from Texas Arrested for Years in Child Support Owed


Alex Rodriguez, star third baseman for the New York Yankees, is in the middle of a high-profile divorce from his wife of six years. The media frenzy that has surrounded the dissolution of the marriage was furthered heightened by the rumors that Mr. Rodriguez was having an affair with singer and Kabbalah-enthusiast Madonna (both denied any improper relationship). Alex Rodriguez has two children with his estranged wife. While there is no indication that he will not fulfill all of his fatherly obligations, Rodriguez would be wise to review the story of Troy Lee Neel and make sure those child support checks are always on time.

Mr. Neel was a first baseman and designated hitter for the Oakland Athletics for a couple of years in the early 1990s, and then enjoyed five years playing professional ball in Japan. During his stint with the Orix Blue Wave in Asia, divorce papers were filed back in San Antonio. As part of the settlement, Neel was ordered to pay $5000 a month in child support for his two children. Ten years later, Neel can tout his status as one of the top ten child support evaders in Texas with a total of $724,345 owed to his family.

After leaving baseball in 2000, Neel thought it best stay off American soil and instead moved to Vanuatu, a group of island which which was featured on the 2004 season of Survivor. He purchased a local resort and enjoyed great popularity with the local residents. A federal jury in San Antonio issued an indictment against Neel in 2005 on a charge of traveling abroad to avoid paying child support. This was followed by the refusal of the State Department to issue a new visa to Neel earlier this year and efforts to get to Neel to Australia, which has an extradition agreement with the United States. Neel's tropical avoidance of responsibility ended on Thursday with an arrest at Los Angeles International Airport. He is now in San Antonio pending further legal decisions concerning how he will move forward with payments.

Are you a dad who is accused of falling short of his financial responsibilities to his children? Are you a mom who cannot get her ex-husband to pay what he owes? Bertolino LLP has attorneys who specialize in family law and who can help with the delicate situation of child support. If you also happen to be famous, we have celebrity, sports, and entertainment lawyers who can make sure your name is defended. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

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