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Family court judge makes unique child support order

About 10 years ago, a state supreme court ruled that it was permissible for a family court judge in the state to forbid a parent from having any more children until he could show that he was able to financially support all of his children. That order did not violate the parent’s constitutional right to procreate, the court stated in its ruling, because it was not preventing the parent from having children. It was merely requiring the parent to make all court-ordered child support payments before having any more kids.

This decision was not made in Las Vegas, and it is not clear whether a similar child support ruling would be made or upheld in Nevada. However, it raises an interesting question: Can a family court judge ban a parent from having children? Is that the appropriate route when a parent is significantly delinquent on his or her child support payments?

Recently, that unique decision was used to make a similar order in a child support case involving a father of nine children. According to court documents, the 44-year-old man owes nearly $100,000 in child support arrears, which is made up of $50,000 in child support payments and $40,000 in interest. The reasons for his nonpayment are not known.

The family court judge overseeing the man’s case sentenced him to three years of probation. As a term of his probation, the man is not allowed to have any more children until he can show that he is able to financially support not only the new child, but his nine existing kids. “Common sense dictates that you shouldn’t have kids you can’t afford,” the judge said.

Source: The Journal Times, “Deadbeat dad sent to probation, ordered not to procreate,” Kristen Zambo, Dec. 3, 2012

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