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Bragging on social media spells trouble for some parents

The popularity of social media sites such as Facebook may be the undoing of some parents, especially those who are delinquent in their child support payments. In dealing with support problems in Ontario, custodial parents may find that a former partner’s online posts provide help for area officials responsible for enforcement of support orders. This has proven to be true in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, where an assistant district attorney notes that social media has made a major difference as a helpful tool for determining which parents do and do not have the resources to pay support obligations.
This official describes three situations in which social media information has resulted in charges against parents who were delinquent in their support payments. In one case, an individual posted a photo of himself holding large amounts of currency. In another instance, a parent was identified as having failed to pay support and instead purchasing a costly asset. In the third case, felony charges were filed against a parent who posted details about his income level but failed to pay appropriate support for a child dealing with the leukemia.
As officials use Facebook and other social networking sites to evaluate the resources of a parent, it may be possible to determine that an individual does have the resources needed to pay child support in spite of what may be represented in court. Those who post information that conflicts evidence offered in court could face serious consequences. A custodial parent may want to bring social media information to a lawyer’s attention if he or she has concerns about the other parent’s ability to pay. A lawyer may be able to introduce this information to the consideration of the courts in order to request the modification of a support order.
Source: Opposing Views, “Fathers Face Charges For Avoiding Child Support, Bragging About Money On Facebook “, Sarah Fruchtnicht, July 17, 2014