Many in Georgia know Dennis Rodman, the former NBA star known for his colorful hairstyles, rebounding skills and wild antics off the court. He recently played defense in a very different court-a court of law-after being found guilty of failing to pay child support. It was the latest in a series of child custody and support disputes over his two children.
He faced four charges of contempt for failure to pay child support amounting to $50,000 a month during a period in 2009 and 2010. The court sentenced Rodman to 104 hours of community service and three years of probation for the infractions. He has since managed to get his child support obligation modified down to $4,500 a month.
However, Rodman is not out of the woods yet. Rodman's ex-wife alleges that he owes over $800,000 in back child support, and a separate set of proceedings on that issue and other contempt allegations is scheduled for late June.
For Georgians wrestling with child support issues, Rodman's case may be instructive. Rodman initially had to pay $50,000 a month. In coming to that number in the child support agreement, the parties (and possibly the court) likely factored in the children's standard of living and financial needs such as child care costs, education and medical expenses. They also looked at each parent's income.
Over time though, that amount was too high for Rodman to sustain, but he apparently failed to act quickly, resulting in several contempt orders and back child support. Non-custodial parents should act quickly to have payments reduced. Unpaid amounts in arrears cannot be reduced. Only future payments can be adjusted downward.