As a previous post mentioned, former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been under court and media scrutiny for his alleged failure to make child support payments. A California judge recently threatened jail time as a potential consequence, calling the failure to pay contempt of court.
The court considers financial needs, medical needs and every day expenses when determining child support payments. In California, child support orders can include penalties for failure to pay. These penalties may come in the form of fines or jail time. A few months back, a California judge threatened Rodman with 20 days in jail for allegedly owing $860,000 in past child support.
Rodman, however, states that he does not owe that amount of money. He further indicated that certain back pay owed is a result of a burdensome $50,000 monthly child support payment, which was not manageable for him. That amount has since been reduced to $4,500 per month, an amount he has kept current on.
This week, the court sentenced Rodman to 104 hours of community service after finding him guilty for the previous failure to pay child support. Rodman was also placed on probation and ordered to pay some $32,000 in attorney's fees.
The determination of child support payments can be a complicated and detailed process. As mentioned, the court considers a number of factors, including the best interests of the child and the income of parents, in determining payment orders. As exemplified by Rodman's situation, the consequences of a failure to pay child support are monumental. It is immensely important to take the concept of child support serious before, during and after divorce and seeking a modification when necessary -- before a burdensome obligation becomes a real problem.
Source: Contra Costa Times, "Dennis Rodman sentenced in child support case," Amy Taxin, May 29, 2012