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Court does not send Dennis Rodman to jail for back child support

Settling on the amount of child support is often one of the most important agreements reached by divorcing parents in Florida. It provides children with financial security and the resources that help them as they grow up. In some cases, however, a parent fails to meet the requisite child support obligations imposed by the court. In those circumstances, divorced parents have a couple of options.

When former basketball player Dennis Rodman fell more than $800,000 behind in child and spousal support, his former wife brought a lawsuit seeking to enforce the court order. That case recently came to a conclusion when the judge ordered Rodman to perform 104 hours of community service. The judge also placed him on three years of probation.

The consequences could have been worse, however. At an earlier court hearing, Rodman was told that he could serve 20 days in jail for failing to meet his child support obligations. Jail time is a potential penalty for those who do not pay child support.

Rodman earned millions of dollars as a player in the National Basketball Association, and when he and his now ex-wife divorced in 2004, was still earning over $500,000 per year and possessed assets in excess of $4 million. But Rodman's lavish spending dissipated his coffers to the point where his attorney recently declared that he did not have any money left.

When child support payments go unfulfilled, the recipient parent can seek enforcement of the support order. But the paying parent can also seek modification in appropriate circumstances. Sometimes, a parent falls on hard times and experiences a significant reduction in income that renders that person unable to make the mandatory payments. It may be possible to change the amount of support to align with the parent's new level of income.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Dennis Rodman gets 104 hours of service in child support dispute," Lauren Williams, Mike Anton and Matt Stevens, May 29, 2012.

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