A man from Omaha, Nebraska is the father of at least 13 children by 11 different women, and reportedly owes $50,000 in unpaid child support. Now, a district court is telling him to pay up.
Norman Bennett, 31, was sent to court over the issue. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Bennett has been given one month, until Jan. 29, to begin paying back what he owes with a $500 deposit.
The district judge presiding over the case, Marlon Polk, told Bennett: “The court is going to give you an opportunity to pay some and, if you don’t pay, you’re going to jail. Because this is not cool.”
The Omaha World-Herald reports that in Nebraska, high court rulings on child support cases attempt to induce offenders to pay down their debts, rather than simply punishing offenders because they cannot pay.
Bennett told the court that he is a construction worker, but that he was laid off and had not yet heard back from another job he applied for at the Omaha airport. He had little else to add. He is a felon and has trouble finding work, he told the court.
It's conceivable that Bennett will just never be able to pay up everything that he owes. The Omaha World-Herald notes payments for each child are usually $50 to $72 a month. If he has 13 children -- and court records indicate that he may have 15 children -- then he will probably not come anywhere close to being able to pay off what debt he has already incurred, plus interest.
The Omaha World-Herald and Breitbart both note that even though Bennett has not been making child support payments, the mothers of the children still receive federal aid through a program previously known as Aid to Dependent Children.
Bennett has one month left to make the initial $500 deposit. If he does not pay, then he will be sent to jail for 90 days.