Currently living in Florida, former basketball player Dennis Rodman was recently ordered to pay $500,000 in back child support, and held in contempt of court. The former basketball star was ordered to pay the child support owed to his ex-wife, and was sentenced to informal probation on the contempt of court charge. The court commissioner warned Rodman that he could face jail time if he did not pay the child support.
The two sides agreed on the amount owed after some dispute, and are still working out custody and visitation issues. A trial is set to resolve these issues in January, but the two hope to work out an agreement prior to trial. Rodman is currently completing the community service he was sentenced to do following a previous contempt charge for failure to pay child support.
Child support orders are reached in a couple of ways. They can arise through a child support agreement or by decision of the court. This can be done through informal negotiations, the aid of alternative dispute resolution or, again, by determination of the court. Once a child support order is entered, it can be enforced. The courts have many options available to them for child support enforcement, and non-paying parents face many potential penalties.
The non-paying parent’s wages can be garnished, certain property can be seized and tax refunds can be intercepted to pay outstanding child support that is due. Additionally, non-paying parents can face license suspension. In some cases, the Department of State will refuse to issue a passport. They can also be jailed on contempt charges. This is often the last resort, however, because the parent will usually be unable to earn an income while in jail.
Courts have many methods to ensure that parents meet their child support obligations. It is important parents understand these and can seek help if they think they are unable to meet their obligations.
Source: Florida Today, “Dennis Rodman ordered to pay $500K in child support,” Author Unknown, Dec. 6, 2012.–