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Dennis Rodman's sentence teaches child support lesson to fathers

Frequently celebrities are in the news when it comes to issues related to family law. And while celebrity gossip is certainly not for everyone, there can be some lessons that any father can learn from some of their legal woes.

For example, recently it was announced that former NBA star Dennis Roadman was sentenced to 104 hours of community service. This was in response to being found guilty on four counts of contempt for being behind on spousal and child support payments.

In his case, while it was claimed that the 51-year-old was more than $800,000 behind on payments, his attorney is quick to point out that not only is the true amount owed less than what his ex-wife is claiming, but that most of what he does owe was from before a modification was made to his child support payments. It used to be that Rodman was paying $50,000 a month for his two children. Since, a judge has reduced that amount to $4,500 a month in both child and spousal support payments. Rodman is now current on those payments.

Along the same lines of owing money, it appears that Rodman has had some financial issues. His financial planner claims that even though he earned approximately $150,000 in 2010, he still is significantly behind when it comes to back taxes. This combined with the fact that his image has been somewhat tarnished over the years has made it more difficult for him to earn the same high income he once did.

Of course, as mentioned in the beginning of this post, while Rodman falling behind on child support payments made the news due to his celebrity status, the truth is that any father can learn from what happened to him. The advice for fathers is rather than waiting for unpaid child support to become a courtroom matter, talk with a family law attorney as soon as it's realized that it will be difficult to keep up with payments. If there has been a change in income since the child support order was first set, there may be options when it comes to obtaining a modification.

Source: ABC, "Dennis Rodman Sentenced in Child Support Case," Amy Taxin, May 29, 2012

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