Social media a tool to hold deadbeat parents accountable

Divorced Florida residents who are paying or receiving child support may be interested in a report regarding non-paying parents in Wisconsin being taken into custody after authorities noticed their flashy social media posts. In some cases, these individuals are facing felony charges for dodging their child support payments.

According to a statement by an assistant district attorney with the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, these non-paying parents, who are bragging about their large income on social media sites, believe that they can get away with not paying their child support. However, their posts are being used as evidence to hold them accountable for those payments.

The assistant director further emphasized the importance of differentiating the parents who actually cannot afford to make their child support payments and those who can but do not want to. She uses posts from social media websites such Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn as tools to help her make that distinction.

In these posts, many non-paying parents seem to flaunt their income and valuables even though they have claimed they cannot afford to make their child support payments. For example, one deadbeat father who is supposed to support his 5-year-old daughter with a monthly payment of $100 has only made one of those payments; yet, he has been displaying his money on several social media websites.

Another father with a 3-year-old son with leukemia has only made a $189 in payments. He too has created posts on Facebook in which he brags about his income and his belongings. Investigators have been using these and similar postings as evidence in enforcement actions against delinquent parents who have the resources to pay but nevertheless renege on their support obligations.

In cases in which delinquent parents try to avoid paying child support, the custodial parent may wish to contact a family law attorney familiar with enforcement matters in an effort to collect his or her court-ordered child support payments. For a delinquent parent having legitimate difficulty making payments due to extenuating circumstances, the attorney may be able to petition the court for a modification to the original support order.

Source: FOX 6 Now, "Facebook posts get deadbeat parents busted for not paying child support", Stephen Davis and Meghan Dwyer, July 17, 2014

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