No reason | 

Judge tells 'stay at home Dad' in arrears on maintenance payments to go out and get a job

'When I was a judge in Limerick heroin addicts were paying maintenance of €10 or €20 a week'
Stock photo

Stock photo

Gordon Deegan

A judge has told a ‘stay at home Dad' in arrears on his maintenance payments to go out and get a job.

At the Family Law Court, Judge Mary Larkin told the man that there “is absolutely no reason” why he should not go out and get a job.

The man stays at home to care for his five year old child from a new relationship and his female partner is the breadwinner for the family.

The man is €1,100 in maintenance arrears to his first partner for their child.

Judge Larkin told the man: “Women have children and go to work the minute they have a baby. There is no reason for a man with a five year old child not to be going out to work after you leave the child off at school in the morning if that is what you do. There is no reason for you not to work."

The man told the court that he previously had a State job and his ex-partner said that he lost his job due to his own fault.

The unemployed man told the court that he doesn’t qualify for social welfare and Judge Larkin told him: “As long as I am the judge of the court here, you are going to pay maintenance.”

Judge Larkin asked the man: “Do you think you can walk away from this child?”

In response, the man said: “I don't walk away Judge. Not at all.”

The man said that he has the child from his first relationship a couple of nights a week. He said: “I don’t have an income judge.”

The man said his current partner “provides for the household”.

Judge Larkin told the man: “You are going to pay €10 a week between now and the next court date. When I was a judge in Limerick heroin addicts were paying maintenance of €10 or €20 a week so you are living in a nice home, you don’t have to work because someone is subsidising you so you will pay €10 a week through the court office.”

The man’s ex-partner told Judge Larkin that the man has been earning money from giving grinds over the last few years and in response the man said that he hasn’t given grinds since the pandemic.

The man told Judge Larkin that he has no qualifications.

The woman said that since the man lost his job a number of years ago, he refused to go out to get a new job.

The man listed off two roles he was employed in since and in response Judge Larkin said: “You had loads of jobs so you go and get loads of jobs and pay for this child."

The man agreed to pay €10 per week between now and the next court date and Judge Larkin adjourned the case to next March and told the man to apply for civil legal aid so that he can have legal representation for the next day in court.


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