Judge Makes Budget for Dad Who Owes $14,000 Child Support

A judge in rural Clinton County, New York, has decided that one deadbeat dad lacks appropriate budgeting skills, and has handed the dad, called Thomas M., a list of items he is forbidden from purchasing until he has repaid $14,000 in child support arrearages to his ex-wife on behalf of their two daughters. Thomas can’t buy cigarettes or alcohol, nor can he buy a hunting or fishing license or any other item that the judge considers not to be a necessity of life. He must have the Probation Department’s written permission to purchase certain other items, including furniture and clothing. Thomas’s lawyer questioned whether the judge had authority to make such an order, but the broad language of the applicable law certainly gives him a lot of leeway. Maybe if more dads were kept away from their internet service, hunting licenses, and restaurant dinners, there wouldn’t be $12.6 billion in child support arrearages.