Kentucky Family Law: The John Schneider Case

Many Kentucky residents may know John Schneider for his role in the show Dukes of Hazard. It was his first big role, but not his last. He has had, overall, a very successful acting and music career over the years. His success, however, meant being ordered to pay to maintain a certain lifestyle for his ex-wife. He has not been able to do this and according to family law, this is punishable by fines and even jail time.

When John Schneider divorced his wife in 2014, he was ordered to pay $18,911 a month in spousal support. Jumping forward to 2018, Mr. Schneider is said to be behind on his payments. According to his ex, she is owed roughly $185,000 in support. As he has failed to pay, she is asking the court to send him to jail — the maximum punishment allowed in their home state.

So, why is Mr. Schneider so far behind on his payments? Financial hardship. John claims he has not been able to maintain steady employment or income. The flooding of his movie studio also forced him to pay a significant amount of money out of pocket in repairs.

Numerous Kentucky residents face financial hardships from time to time. When they are ordered to pay spousal support, those financial hardships don’t mean anything to the court unless they seek to have their support orders officially modified. According to family law, changes in circumstances may warrant order adjustments. In seeking such adjustments early on, with the assistance of legal counsel, one can avoid the consequences that may come with failing to meet his or her support obligation.

Source:, “‘Dukes of Hazzard’s’ John Schneider facing jail time over unpaid spousal support, report says,” Sasha Savitsky, Feb. 1, 2018