Teen Father’s Child-Support Payments Deferred Until He’s Employed
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ A 16-year-old, twice-divorced father of two whose only income is his $15-a- week allowance need not pay his first wife child support until he gets out of school and finds a job, his mother said Saturday.
The second divorce of Hal Warden, a Nashville 10th-grader, became final in January, when a three-judge panel of the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled on child support in his first breakup.
″He won’t have to pay until he’s on his feet. There’s high school and then college,″ said his mother, Ogeal Warden. ″Hal only gets what we give him. You can’t get blood out of a turnip.″
Hal was ordered to pay $30 a week in child support to his first wife, Wendy Chappell Warden, in August 1985. He was 12 at the time of that marriage and she was 14. They divorced in September 1985, but not before their daughter Heather was born.
At the time, Hal was earning $100 a week working for his father in the insulation business. But he has since returned to Hunter’s Lane High School and his income was reduced to his allowance, his mother said.
Hal and his second wife, 15-year-old Catherine Renee Trent, agreed to share expenses for their daughter Ashley. They agreed on joint custody, though Hal was denied custody of his first child in a court fight.
The appeals panel said Hal has no earning capacity and the $30-a-week payments in his first marriage should be held in abeyanc’ until he can pay.
Hal lives with his parents in Nashville.