Family Law in Wisconsin: Man Banned from Having More Kids as a Condition of His

A Wisconsin man convicted for failing to pay child support was sentenced to three years of probation under conditions including not to have more children until he can show that he could pay child support, reported Duluth News Tribune.*

In Wisconsin, intentional failure to pay child support attracts criminal liabilities. Under state law, upon conviction, this Class E feloney is punishable with a fine not to exceed $ 10,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 5 years, or both.”^

The 44-year-old man was convicted of failing to pay child support in the amount of $ 90,000. He has nine children with six different women. The judge said at the hearing, “Common sense dictates you shouldn’t have kids you can’t afford.”

The ruling, although appear to be controversial, has its legal foundation. In 2001, a ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision in a similar case where a convicted deadbeat father was prohibited from procreating.* In the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s view, in imposing sanctions against those who have been convicted for intentionally failing to pay child support, the presiding judge is entitled to take into account other factors, including the power to impose conditions of probation. In its decision, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin affirmed that under certain circumstances, an individual can be prohibited from having more children as a condition for probation.

Fast forward to January 2013, a Wisconsin man, also convicted for intentionally failing to pay child support, was ordered not to have more children until he has paid all his support payments owed in arrears. What’s more, as part of the conditions for his probation, he must tell women he met within three minutes of meeting them that he is a felon who owes child support.*

In Ontario, defaulting on child support does’t attract criminal liabilities. However, the enforcement agency the Family Responsibility Office (the “FRO”) nonetheless has the power to ask the courts to impose imprisonment for upto 180 days at a default hearing.

*Mike Creger, “Judge orders Northland man not to father any more children” Duluth News Tribute, 23 January 2013, online: <http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/255945/>

^Wis. Stat. § 939.50(3)(e)(1999-2000)

+State v. Oakley, 692 NW 2d 200 (Wis. Sup. Ct. 2001)

This blog is provided for educational purposes and for your reference. It is not intended as legal advice and should not be regarded as such. The writer is not a licensed attorney in the State of Wisconsin and may not provide legal advice on Wisconsin or U.S. law. The law may have changed since the publication of this article.

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