When a couple gets divorced, there are many changes in both individuals’ lives. If the couple has children, even more changes are involved. For example, both child support and child custody arrangements must be made if there are children involved. Courts will look to what is in the best interests of the child, or children, in making these determinations.
Families with large incomes often have the most contentious battles for child support, and the income level is often quite high. But in many cases, especially if one parent is a celebrity, that high income does not last or changes enough to affect the child support payments. This is most likely the case for former NBA star Dennis Rodman. He currently owes approximately $500,000 in back child support and is held in contempt of court for nonpayment. His ex-wife claims that the amount owed is actually around $850,000, but the parties agreed out of court on the $500,000 figure.
A court has sentenced Rodman to informal probation due to the violation. He can face jail time if he does not pay the child support.
The couple has two pre-teen children and must still determine custody of them. This legal battle began in 2004 when his then-wife filed for divorce.
Child support and custody arrangements can generally be modified when there is a significant change in circumstances. These circumstances can include, for example, when one or both parents los their jobs; when a spouse has a serious medical condition; or when there is a substantial change in necessary parenting time. But the standard that the courts always use is to determine what is in the best interest of the child.
Source: azcentral.com, “Dennis Rodman must pay $500k in child support,” Dec. 7, 2012