Michigan Father of 23 Incarcerated for Failure to Pay Child Support

By October 4, 2010Child Custody

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Support on Monday, October 4, 2010

Failure to pay child support can result in a number of consequences including garnished wages, suspension of a driver’s license and in some more extreme cases, incarceration for contempt of court. One 44-year old Michigan father pushed 20-year veteran Kent County Judge Dennis Leiber to his limits when he failed to pay more than $533,000 in child support for his multiple children.

Judge Leiber not only granted a jail sentence, but he deviated from the 6 month maximum listed in the sentencing guidelines by setting the father’s punishment at 23-43 months in jail. Judge Leiber was unable to hide his astonishment when he told the father in a court hearing that he was “the poster child for irresponsibility” and that he was “an insult to every responsible father who sacrifices to provide for their children.”

After a complete and thorough report, evidence indicated that the man had fathered 23 children with 14 different women although the man alleges that it is only 15 children with a total of 12 different mothers. Assistant Attorney General Mitchell Wood calculated the math and wrote in a letter seeking a departed sentence that “For a decade, between 1989 and 1999, the defendant impregnated at least one woman every single year.” At least 14 more child support cases against the father are pending in Michigan courts.

The case has sparked controversy across the nation, some claiming that the only ones who suffer from the decision to incarcerate him are the children he fathered and the taxpayers who will have to pay for his food and shelter. Others claim that the sentence is the right decision and that it was astonishing that anyone could assume that they would be able to pay adequate child support for 23 children.

Source: ABC News “Ultra Deadbeat Dad Gets 23 Months in Jail” Lyneka Little 9/29/10