When a Tennessee family court judge orders a parent to pay a certain amount of child support, the options of the mother or father ordered to pay are limited: make the payments as required each month, appeal the decision or ask the court to modify the amount due to a substantial change in circumstances. Choose a different option and you run the risk of being charged with contempt of court, having your license suspended and other consequences as well.
This is essentially how child support works in other states too, as NBA hall-of-famer Dennis Rodman found out last week.
Last year, if you recall, a Florida court found the flamboyantly bejeweled and tattooed former rebounding champ guilty of four counts of contempt for failing to pay child support. Last week, that court sentenced him to 104 hours of community service and three years of informal probation, provided he continues to meet his monthly child support and spousal support obligations.
According to court records, the missed child support payments in this case dated back to 2009 and 2010, when Rodman was still expected to pay his former wife $50,000 in child support alone each month. His attorney says that that amount has since been reduced to a total of $4,500 a month for both child and spousal support due to Rodman's decreased earnings and that Rodman has been meeting those obligations.
Unfortunately, Rodman is still facing contempt charges related to other past due child support payments that his ex-wife claims exceed $800,000.
Rodman talked about possibly working with at-risk youth near his Florida home while fulfilling the community service sentence but said he would be willing to do whatever was required. He also stated that for the time being, at least he's "making enough to keep everyone satisfied."
Source: WKRN-TV News, "Dennis Rodman sentenced in child support case," Amy Taxin, May 29, 2012