Bet you didn’t know there was a “most-wanted” list for people who don’t pay child support. Former baseball pro Danny Tartabull is on it, according to Dan Stamm with NBC 4 News, for owing some $250,000 in back child support for his two sons. This is despite the fact that Tartabull apparently earned roughly $33 million during his 14-season career in the MLB.
Stamm reports that Tartabull pleaded no-contest to failing to pay child support in 2011, but also failed to follow up with payments, and then failed to show up to serve his 180-day sentence for violating the conditions of his probation. An arrest warrant was issued but Tartabull has so far avoided serving out the sentence.
Most states, if not all, maintain most-wanted lists for child support enforcement. Here’s the “Baltimore County Deadbeat Parents Search,” provocatively named, but not necessarily appropriately named. This is one of those areas where there is a type of “debtor’s prison,” because failure to pay support can lead to arrest warrants and jail sentences. But the interest of the child in receiving financial support outweighs the concern of people going to jail over money.
Money plays a role. That is, the amount of money that someone earns or has earned. In Tartabull’s case, it would likely be hard for a judge to find leniency in a case where a pro athlete earned millions during the course of his career, versus someone who truly cannot afford to pay the amount of child support ordered.