Dennis Rodman is well known for his flamboyant lifestyle, but his family law attorney says the retired NBA star is not a deadbeat dad. The retired player appeared, not on the basketball court, but in family law court Tuesday for sentencing after he was found in contempt of court last November for allegedly failing to pay more than $800,000 in child support. The judge delayed sentencing until May 29.
A dispute over the child support remains. Rodman says that he has paid child and spousal support and owes far less than his ex-wife claims, if he owes anything at all. His lawyer says that she will be providing the family law judge with evidence of the payments the ball player has paid.
Rodman argues that there is no evidence that he is behind in his child support payments and he is seeking to have the finding of contempt overturned. The dispute appears to center, in part, upon what the retired NBA player is responsible to pay under the most recent court order.
In 2010, Rodman was ordered to pay $50,000 in support payments each month, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle. However, the retired player no longer commands the type of salary that he enjoyed during his NBA playing days more than a decade ago, and sources indicate that his post-retirement endorsement income have declined in recent years and that the he has had other financial issues.
Rodman's lawyer says that the $50,000 is unrealistic based upon Rodman's current income and that the child support order was later modified after it was initially issued in 2010--knocking the monthly child support payments down to $4,500 per month.
The current child support dispute concerns Rodman's two children with his ex-wife, Michelle Rodman. The retired NBA player also pays child support for another son, which is not a part of the current dispute with his ex-wife. Michelle Rodman originally filed for divorce in 2004, but the marriage was not dissolved until earlier this year as the couple made several attempts to reconcile their differences over the years.
While Rodman played for two separate teams in Texas during his NBA career, the current dispute is being handled on the West Coast, although Rodman now lives in Miami. The California court system still has jurisdiction over the family law case.
Each state has its own laws in family law cases, but in issues where the family law court retains continuing jurisdiction, such as child support and child custody, many people need to seek modifications of an order as circumstances change.
Changes in income, or primary residence, and even changing the primary residential custody from one parent to the other, may require enforcement or a modification to a divorce agreement. But those types of modification need to be brought through the court to reduce future dispute.
A seasoned Houston family law attorney can help a person who has experienced a change in circumstances to learn how modifications to a divorce agreement work under Texas law.
- Houston Chronicle, "Dennis Rodman back in court over child support," Associated Press, Mar. 28, 2012
- ABC News, "Dennis Rodman's Lawyer Says He's Not a 'Deadbeat Dad'," Sheila Marikar, Mar. 29, 2012