Ric Flair Arrest Warrant Issued for Unpaid Spousal Support

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By Aditi Mukherji, JD on July 17, 2013 12:02 PM

An arrest warrant is out for Ric Flair, the man considered by many to be the greatest (and most bedazzled) pro wrestler of all time.

Apparently, however, he's not the greatest at paying spousal support.

A judge in Charlotte, North Carolina, issued the arrest order for the former professional wrestler after he allegedly failed to pay his estranged wife more than $32,000, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Flair's Explanation

Flair, whose real name is Richard Fliehr, was ordered to pay $4,000 a month to Jacqueline Beems after she filed for legal separation last summer. But following at least two court orders, Flair didn't pay the $32,352.51 he owed, according to court documents.

Flair's reason for not paying up is pretty sad.

"The reason I didn't pay my ex-wife the 32 grand is because my son died and I was in the hospital for a month," Flair told the the Observer. "I was in the hospital for a month with a blood clot. I didn't go to work for three months."

Reid Fliehr was found dead by his father on March 29. The wrestler's son, 25, died from ingesting a combination of heroin and prescription drugs, according to the autopsy.

Alimony Enforcement

Unlike child support, which in most states is mandated according to very specific monetary guidelines, courts have broad discretion in determining whether to award spousal support (alimony) and, if so, how much and for how long.

Typically, spousal support will be awarded only when a former spouse is unable to meet his or her needs without financial assistance from a spouse who can afford to pay it.

Spousal support may be temporary, such as when a former spouse needs time to get back into the job market, brush up on skills, complete an educational program, or raise the children; or permanent, such as when a spouse may never become self-supporting due to age or disability.

In this case, the money was intended to go toward her car payments, health insurance and legal fees.

Alimony enforcement isn't like child-support enforcement, which has the "teeth" of wage garnishment, liens, and other enforcement mechanisms.

Fortunately for Flair, he can avoid jail time if he pays what he owes, according to court documents.

Ex-Wife in Trouble Too

Oddly enough, Beems is the one experiencing greater legal woes.

She turned herself into police on Tuesday after a warrant was issued for her arrest because she allegedly made a series of threatening phone calls to Flair's current girlfriend.

Beems was released on a $500 unsecured bond.

"My girlfriend ... is the mother of four and she has 50 texts and five voice-mails from my ex-wife," Flair told the Observer.

Life against the ropes can be so dramatic.

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