Is a pizza box the newest weapon in child support enforcement?

In our last post, we discussed how Russia is officially taking a more stringent approach toward the adoption of children by U.S. parents. It appears, however, that is not the only area of family law in which Russian officials are cracking down.

Back in 2007, Russian bailiffs implemented a drastic new measure designed to help reduce the number of new cases seeking unpaid child support from fathers: They began publishing the faces of delinquent fathers — or “alimony debtors” as they are known in Russia — on everything from billboards and banners to websites and other media.

To date, these efforts have proven remarkably effective. From 2007 to 2011, the number of new cases seeking unpaid child support dropped by 30 percent, while the number of new cases seeking unpaid child support over the past eight months has fallen by 63,000 when compared with the same time last year.

Now, Russian bailiffs are considering taking their public scolding to a whole new level by publishing photos of alimony debtors on pizza boxes.

According to reports, the idea is well within the law and would follow the current guidelines in only publishing the photographs of those fathers who are currently on a wanted list for failure to pay child support.

Interestingly, a top Russian bailiff indicated that the idea of using pizza boxes originated right here in America.

Several years ago, Cynthia Brown, the executive officer of Butler County Child Enforcement Agency in Ohio, had an epiphany while ordering a pizza.

“It suddenly dawned on me that most people running from the law don’t eat out, they order pizza,” she said.

It should be noted that many father’s rights groups have decried efforts to use pizza boxes as a mechanism for public shaming, claiming that it fails to account for the individual circumstances of fathers and embarrasses children.

To learn more about nonpayment of child support or other post-divorce issues, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


Time, “Russia considers printing photos of deadbeat dads on pizza boxes,” Regina Wang, Oct. 24, 2012

UPI Asia, “Pizza boxes may show faces of deadbeat dads,” Oct. 19, 2012