If there were a contest for the most deadbeat of deadbeat dads, Robert Sand with his $1.2 million in owed child support would be a serious contender. Prosecutors have even called him the government's "most wanted" deadbeat parent.
Sand has owed money for a long time to three children whom he fathered from two previous marriages. On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to pay child support. The child support orders have been "in arrears," meaning overdue, since 2002.
To avoid paying, Sand fled from New York to Florida, and then lived in Thailand for years. But when he came back in November of last year, he was immediately arrested.
The arrest doesn't mean Robert Sand is a criminal. Child support is a family law matter and doesn't involve the criminal law system.
But failure to pay child support comes with hefty punishments.
The court wants to encourage parents to make their payments. If a parent doesn't, the court can withhold a portion of his income to pay the amount owed.
If that doesn't work, other alternatives include withholding tax refunds, seizing property, suspending a professional or business license, and revoking a driver's license.
If all of that fails, jail time is an option. The court can hold the indebted parent in contempt and impose a jail term.
That punishment isn't often enforced since it somewhat defeats the purpose of the child support order. You can't make money while sitting in jail, which means you can't start paying down the debt.
Sand is currently being held in jail and has been since December since he's considered a flight risk. At his sentencing in May, he could face up to four years in prison, reports NBC News.
But his ex-wives don't appear to want to see him behind bars. They want him to be free so he can get a job, earn some money and start paying what's owed.
- Robert Sand, No. 1 "deadbeat parent," pleads guilty to owing more than $1.2 million to three kids (CBS News)
- No Attorney for Deadbeat Dads Facing Jail (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Deadbeat Dad Jailed on 36-Year-Old Warrant (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Browse Child Support Lawyers by Location (FindLaw)