During a divorce settlement, judges will often set alimony and child support amounts based on a parent's current and projected earning potential. Failure to pay court-mandated spousal and child support are serious offenses that can result in jail time. This is exactly the predicament that former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman now finds himself in.
In California court documents, Rodman's third wife asserts he currently owes more than $800,000 in back child support for the couple's two children, ages 9 and 10. She also contends that in addition to back child support payments, Rodman owes more than $50,000 in back alimony.
Rodman's attorneys, however, claim they are working pro bono and that the former NBA player does not have the financial means to make the payments. Rodman's monthly child and spousal support payments top out at $9,500. This amount includes $5,000 to support a child from a previous relationship in addition to the $4,500 he's responsible for paying to his third ex-wife.
Rodman's attorneys claim their client is very ill and does not have the financial means to pay his child or spousal support. Records indicate that so far this year Rodman has only made roughly $8,000. In addition to the back child and spousal support he owes, Rodman also owes back taxes in excess of $350,000.
While this case may be extreme given the personalities and amount of debt involved, parents who are not able to pay their child or spousal support payments should seek formal legal advice. Life changes such as loss of a job can make it difficult to make court ordered payments. However, in order for payment amounts to be modified, the changes must be approved by a court.
Source: Daily Pilot, "Dennis Rodman faces jail time in O.C. court case," Lauren Williams, Mar. 26, 2012