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Authorities are using Facebook posts to enforce child support law

Authorities in some areas of the country are using Facebook to identify and arrest individuals who are not paying child support. One man was held accountable after he failed to pay child support to his son who had gone through extensive cancer treatments. The man -- who allegedly only paid an average of $0.14 per day since his son was born -- was bragging on social media about making excellent money at his job and having tickets to sports games.

Another woman paid for plastic surgery on her nose instead of meeting her child support obligations. Yet another parent bought a music studio instead of paying money to the mother of his children. According to the District Attorney from a Midwestern county, these individuals do not believe they will be caught.

When parents cannot afford to pay their child support it is not generally considered to be a crime. However, if a parent is flaunting exorbitant expenditures publicly, while not meeting child support obligations, it is a crime. In this sense, it is the job of authorities to discriminate between a parent who is being a deadbeat and parents who are simply too poor to pay for their children's care. One District Attorney's Office is using the Facebook posts of these parents to do just that. They are using evidence gleaned from social media to prove that deadbeat parents are neglecting their legal obligations.

In Illinois, if a parent suspects that an ex-spouse is purposefully sidestepping his or her child support obligations, legal strategies are available. A child support decree is enforceable under state laws and deadbeat parents may even be arrested if they have gotten far enough behind on their responsibilities. Child support decrees can also be increased in some cases if the ex-spouse has suddenly experienced a large degree of success in his or her career.

Source: fox6now.com, "Facebook posts get deadbeat parents busted for not paying child support" Stephen Davis and Meghan Dwyer, Jul. 17, 2014

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