Former NBA Star Dennis Rodman in California Child Support Dispute

April 5, 2012
By Thomas M. Huguenor on April 5, 2012 4:54 PM |

Dennis Rodman ToPoDennis Rodman, the former "bad boy" NBA star, was in an Orange County courtroom in late March on a contempt of court charge for failure to pay child support. The court had found him in contempt in November 2011 based on non-payment. Rodman and ex-wife Michelle Rodman have two children. She alleges that he owes over $860,000 in combined arrearages of child and spousal support. Rodman claims that he owes far less, if anything, and that he has evidence of past payments that have not been credited. His sentencing was rescheduled to May 29, and Rodman's attorney says they may move for the court to vacate the contempt order. He could face twenty days in jail.

Rodman played in the NBA from 1986 until 2000, with most of his time spent with the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls. He continued to play in the semi-professional American Basketball Association, not affiliated with the league of the same name that merged with the NBA in the 1970's, and in Europe for several years until he retired from basketball in 2006.

Rodman has a daughter with his first wife, Annie Bakes. They married in 1992 and divorced in 1993. Rodman had a highly-publicized marriage to Carmen Electra in 1998 that lasted all of ten days. They formally divorced in 1999. Rodman married Michelle Rodman (née Moyer) in 2003. The couple already had two children, a son born in 2000 and a daughter born in 2001. Michelle Rodman filed for divorce in 2004, but they spent several years attempting to reconcile. The divorce was not finalized until this year.

Alcohol and substance abuse issues have formed a major part of Rodman's public persona, along with what the Los Angeles Times calls his "wild ways." He owned a home on the ocean in Newport Beach known for loud parties. Police reportedly made eighty calls there due to noise complaints. He sold the house when the divorce began in 2004. In early divorce documents, Rodman listed assets including $3.4 million in property and $1.45 million in stocks and bonds. He also claimed over $31,000 per month in expenses. He has reportedly already cashed out his NBA pension to pay California taxes but still owes $350,000 more.

The NBA Hall of Fame inducted Rodman in 2011. He says that endorsements, licensing deals, and other offers have begun to come in. Rodman now lives in Miami, and says that he is on good terms with his children and their mother, despite the ongoing court battle.

California child support law allows courts to impose child support and maintenance obligations on a person prior to finalizing a divorce. This is particularly applicable in situations where parents are separated and the children primarily live with one parent. That parent can get an order for the other parent to pay child support until a family court enters permanent child support orders as part of a final divorce, or until the parties reconcile. Media reports do not specify a monthly child support amount owed by Rodman. The amount is generally based on the obligor parent’s monthly income after taxes and certain other expenses. Non-payment of child support can result in a judgment for the amount in arrears, an order of contempt, further monetary fines, and even jail time.

San Diego certified divorce lawyer Thomas Huguenor has 35 years of experience helping people through the family law process, including divorce and child support. For a free and confidential consultation, contact us online or at (858) 458-9500.

More Blog Posts:

San Diego Court Places Limits on Parents' Duty to Disclose Financial Changes, San Diego Divorce Attorney Blog, January 19, 2012

Northern California County Pushes for Overdue Child Support, San Diego Divorce Attorney Blog, January 12, 2012

California Divorce Report: Child Support News, San Diego Divorce Attorney Blog, August 4, 2011

Photo credit: 'Dennis Rodman ToPo' by Tuomas Venhola (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons