Failing to pay child support is a serious offense that can drastically affect the wellbeing of child. Even so, many custodial parents may feel frustrated at the relatively light penalties that are handed down to those who fall dramatically behind on their payments. Although it is possible for non-custodial parents to be imprisoned for failing to pay child support, judges are generally reluctant to take this step, as it tends to only exacerbate the non-payment problem.
Florida parents, then, can sometimes find themselves in the frustrating situation of watching their child's non-custodial parent flout payment after payment with seemingly no ill effects. Parents who feel this way may wish to consider to judgment recently passed down on a man from another state, a child support debtor whose obligations grew so large that a judge ordered him to stop having kids.
The 35-year-old man has four children. He was originally indicted for failure to pay in 2011, when he was found to have $78,922 in back payments. Today, that total stands at a whopping $96,000. The man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years probation. As a condition of that probation, the judge said that the man must take all possible precautions to avoid having children until he is able to support the ones he already has.
Though the sentiment is understandable, it might not be supportable in court. An attorney for the man has stated that the ruling violates the man's privacy, as well as his reproductive rights.
Rulings such as this one are rare, but they reflect the frustration that judges and custodial parents can sometimes feel when dealing with child support debt. In some cases, non-custodial parents will go to great lengths to avoid making payments, even going so far as to hide or disguise their earnings. An experienced family law attorney can help put a stop to this sort of behavior, and ensure that their client's children receive the support that they are entitled to.
Source: Time, "Judge Orders Man Owing $96K in Child Support To Stop Having Kids," Erica Ho, Jan. 28, 2013