Fourteen-year-old Hal Warden was granted a divorce from his 17-year-old wife but lost a bitter custody fight for their baby daughter and must pay $30 a week in child support.
"My son is destroyed. He collapsed in the doorway as he came in from school when I told him the news," said Herbert Warden, his father.
He said his son, a sophomore at Greenbrier High School, cannot afford the child support payments ordered by Sumner County Juvenile Court Judge Tom E. Gray in a 12-page decision released Thursday.
Gray awarded custody of 16-month-old Heather Warden to the boy's former wife, Wendy Cappell Warden, 17, of Chugiak, Alaska. The teen-age father can have the toddler two months a year, the judge said.
The young father went to court in June seeking a divorce and custody of his daughter.
During 13 hours of testimony, the parents leveled charges at each other. The boy testified that his estranged wife's mother let the baby chew on her big toe and his former wife said he had behaved "like a 10-year-old" while they were married.
Hal and Wendy were married Jan. 20, 1984, after they learned she was pregnant. The baby was born four months later.