It would certainly be reasonable to think that most family law issues concerning professional sports stars in the United States would center on highly valued property and other assets, given that the average annual wage of a pro football player is nearly $2 million and that of a basketball player three times higher.

At least for National Football League (“NFL”) players, the current lockout by owners and the stalled negotiations between the league and its players that threaten the upcoming 2011 season have brought another concern to the fore: child support.

Namely, and as strange as it might sound to people whose salaries aren’t in the stratosphere, many NFL players are worried that the potential league shutdown will have a corresponding downward effect on their pay that will render their ability to fulfill their current support duties problematic.

Notwithstanding the fears of players, of course, the very real victims under such a scenario are the children who players have an obligation to support and the former spouses and girlfriends who tend to them. Many of them are watching the lockout and paying as much attention as the players are to developments between the NFL and the players’ union.

Agents say they are busy. “The NFL is an industry,” says one, “and if the industry is in trouble, the men can’t meet their obligations.” He adds that, “The only thing to do is file for modification,” which many players are in the process of doing.

Related Resource: Bloomberg,”NFL Players Poised to Cut Alimony, Making Wives Industry Dispute Victims” May 8, 2011