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Man With 27 Kids Jailed After 'Divorce Court'

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on September 11, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

An Ohio man recently made a big splash on "Divorce Court" when he admitted to fathering 27 kids with 17 women. Yes, you read right: 27 children.

Just two days after his "Divorce Court" episode aired, Nathaniel J. Smith, 39, of Dayton, was arrested and taken to a county jail for failing to appear in court for a child support case. He's since been released.

Smith told the Dayton Daily News he was not aware of the court appearance that he apparently missed -- a consequence, perhaps, of having so many kids to support? Here are a few valuable child support lessons to learn from a guy with 27 kids:

  1. Get ready to pay up -- big time. Failure to pay child support comes with hefty punishments including wage garnishment, the withholding of tax refunds, property seizure and in willful cases, jail. Though it's unclear how much Smith owes in child support, considering a man with 22 kids owed $7,000 a month, it's pretty safe to say Smith will likely be making significant child support payments for many years to come.
  2. Prepare for lifestyle restrictions. Though courts won't take the Lorena Bobbitt route, in extreme cases like this, judges have sometimes been known to order virile men to stop procreating as a condition of probation. The goal is to leave the baby-making to the stork and prevent defendants from having more children than they can support.
  3. Get ready to feel like a deadbeat dad. The best interests of the child guide child support and custody issues. When a father fails to keep his pants on and spawns a classroom of babies, it becomes next to impossible to provide the necessary attention, financial assistance and overall parental support that go into raising a healthy child. Smith has yet to realize that his poor procreation decisions will hurt not him, but his children, the most.

It's Showtime?

It seems "Divorce Court" could potentially give Smith a new way to pay child support: showbiz. Smith is jonesing for a reality show, according to the Dayton Daily News. There's a movie called "27 Dresses," so how about a sad non-sequitur sequel: "27 Children"?

Despite the depressing premise, this may soon become a reality (show). Smith says his estranged wife has even been contacted by two TV talk shows since their "Divorce Court" episode aired.

Has no one learned from the tragedy that is "Jon and Kate Plus Eight"? Sigh.

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