We have previously written that Florida treats child support obligations seriously. To that end, law enforcement and courts may impose a series of punishments and restrictions on parents who fail to pay court-ordered child support.
Depending on the specifics of a given situation, child support obligors could face wage garnishment, travel restrictions or even license suspension. As harsh as these measures may seem, there are some judges who reserve uniquely strict punishments for the most serious offenders.
In a recent case from Wisconsin, a 44-year-old man had to stand before a judge and be sentenced for his failure to pay child support. It should be noted that his negligence did not just affect one or two kids. Rather, the man has fathered nine children with six different women. In all, he owes nearly $100,000 in overdue child support and related interest charges.
The judge made no attempt to hide his frustration with the defendant. He said: "This has come up before. It's too bad the court doesn't have the authority to sterilize. Common sense dictates you shouldn't have kids you can't afford."
At this point, the assistant district attorney informed him that a previous ruling from the state Supreme Court gave judges the authority to restrict a defendant's right to breed as a condition of probation.
Hearing this, the judge said: "I will make that a condition of the probation. He is not to procreate [again] until he can show he can provide for them." The judge specified that the defendant must be able to support his nine existing children as well as any he may wish to have in the future.
This was certainly a unique ruling in an unusual case. But regardless of the circumstances, most judges work vigorously to enforce child support obligations. They realize that when these financial obligations are not met, it is the children who suffer most.
Source: The Journal Times, "Deadbeat dad sentenced to probation, ordered not to procreate," Kristen Zambo, Dec. 3, 2012