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Social media used to question delinquent child support

In this age of online activity, it would be difficult to find someone who did not participate in social media in some shape or form. Especially when it comes to Facebook, one of the most prolific online networking sites, everyone from teenagers to grandparents in Minnesota and around the world seem to be involved.

While most Minnesotans use social media as a way to stay connected to other people, news, and events, law enforcement officers and prosecutors are starting to realize there may be other uses for social media. The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office is now turning to Facebook over child support issues. District attorneys are using Facebook to figure out if dads who owe child support are actually struggling financially or if they just do not want to make support payments.

For example, one father reportedly paid less than $200 total from the time his son was born. His now 3-year-old son suffers from leukemia and endures hospital stay and chemotherapy sessions, among other things. While this was going on, the boy's father bragged online the amount of money that he earns.

The dad is now charged with felony failure to pay child support, even though he claims he was not aware that his son had leukemia. The district attorney's office has used this tactic to press charges against other parents with delinquent payments.

Parents have an obligation to provide for their children. When a court orders child support payments, this obligation suddenly carries with it the weight of the law and there are serious penalties for parents who ignore court order child support responsibilities. If parents truly do not have the financial means to make payments, there may be way to modify the support order and an attorney can assist in this process. Otherwise, parents should think twice about their parental duties and make child support a priority before bragging about income or making frivolous expenditures.

Source: Fox 8 WGHP, "Facebook is helping bust deadbeat dads who skip out on child support," July 19, 2014

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