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Child support: Basketball's Dennis Rodman fouls out

Arizona readers know Dennis Rodman as a former NBA star and Hall of Famer who maintains a lifestyle that many would consider flamboyant. But it turns out, in some respects, he's just like many of the rest of us. He got married, had kids, and later got divorced. Along with that divorce came child support and spousal maintenance payments, sometimes as much as $50,000 monthly for child support alone. And therein lies the rub.

It turns out that Rodman, just like a lot of other noncustodial parents, could no longer keep up the gargantuan child support payments. Some will point out, and perhaps correctly, that he seems to have continued to maintain his gregarious way of life, including his sometimes multicolored hair. But he has also been fighting with his ex-wife since their 2004 divorce over support issues.

His ex-wife has kept her pedal to the metal for the benefit of the former couple's two children, now ages 10 and 11. Though Rodman's child support obligation has since been reduced to $4,500 monthly, he is said to still owe more than $800,000 in back support. Recently, a Los Angeles judge found him in contempt of court for the nonpayment and sentenced him to 104 hours of community service to go along with three years of probation. During that time, he must keep his support payments current while also completing his community service requirement by working with troubled teens or cleaning the streets.

Child support is said to be for the benefit of the minor child or children of a couple who have parted ways. While the noncustodial parent is typically assessed a monthly obligation based on his or her annual gross income, some fall behind in payments and face consequences such as Rodman faced. One option in Arizona is to petition the appropriate court for a downward modification of the court-ordered payment based on a substantial change in circumstances, something which Rodman apparently has already done. Failing that, a custodial parent has every right to seek enforcement measures to require a recalcitrant parent to meet his or her financial obligations for the kids.

Source: ABC15.com, "Former NBA star Dennis Rodman sentenced in child support case," May 30, 2012

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