Former NBA bad boy given community service for failing to pay child support

In a previous post, we talked about how former NBA great Dennis Rodman — perhaps known as much for his patented brand of hard-nosed basketball as his ongoing legal troubles — was being sued by his ex-wife for failing to pay both spousal support and child support.

Specifically, court documents filed in Orange County, California, by Michelle Rodman — his third wife — showed that Rodman owed over $800,000 in back child support for his 9- and 10-year old children, and over $50,000 in back spousal support.

In recent developments, Rodman was sentenced to 104 hours of community service by an Orange County Commissioner this past Tuesday on four counts of contempt for failing to meet his support obligations.

“My suggestion is to use your talents as a motivator, as a fine, fine athlete and as a fine person to assist others in need,” said the commissioner to Rodman.

In addition to the community service, Rodman was placed on informal probation for three years and ordered to meet his ongoing support obligations.

While you might think this is the end of the matter, Rodman is actually scheduled for another hearing in late June to address his sizeable child support arrears and additional contempt charges.

Interestingly, Rodman’s attorneys are disputing that he owes that much money in child support. Furthermore, they claim in court documents that he is virtually broke, still dealing with tax problems, unable to cover his attorney fees and suffering from a crippling addiction to alcohol that has severely diminished his marketability/ability to earn.

Michelle Rodman’s attorney has disputed Rodman’s claims of financial hardship, claiming that the former star frequently flies to Europe to host paying gigs at various nightclubs and that his recent induction into the NBA Hall of Fame has resulted in lucrative business opportunities.

In the meantime, Rodman seems to be satisfied with the commissioner’s sentence and on surprisingly good terms with his ex-wife.

“It’s all about the kids,” he said after the hearing. “It does suck the fact that it had to come to this.”

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about child support or post-divorce issues, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


CBS News, “Dennis Rodman, former NBA star, sentenced to community service in family court,” May 29, 2012

The Los Angeles Times, “Dennis Rodman could face jail over child and spousal support” March 28, 2012