(Memphis) It’s hard enough taking care of one child.
“Single parents know because I am a single parent,” said Alice Brown.
But when you have 21 children, supporting them all is likely impossible.
“It’s not possible,” said Memphis Mom Audra Johnson. “It’s not.”
According to court records, Terry Turnage owes 15 women child support for at least 21 children.
One of the women involved, said his child support checks have been as low as $6 a month.
“I know $6 is definitely not enough,” said Johnson. “That`s not even enough to buy a bag of diapers.”
Family Law Attorney Miles Mason says this case is extreme, but in Tennessee, the maximum amount the State can take from a man owing child support for five or more kids is 50 percent of his wages.
If his income is low, and he has many children, the support will end up being not much support at all.
Miles says the court can deviate from the guidelines in some situations, and require a father to pay more, “But at some point if you take a 100 percent of someone`s income, they are not going to work.”
And if the state decides to throw a dead beat dad in jail, it’s another problem because he’ll have no money coming in and the women will get nothing.
“It’s a very difficult situation and nobody wins,” he said.
And it seems nobody is winning in this case, which many are calling “sad”.
“Sad that he would be that irresponsible to put himself in a situation that nobody can handle,” said Memphis Resident Jack Wyett.
And in the end, Mason says many of the mothers are going to have to rely on welfare, Medicaid or other State money to care for their children, and that of course, comes from us as taxpayers.