Facebook pictures lead to charges in child support case

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Child Support on Friday, April 5, 2013.

Chicago parents responsible for child support payments should be mindful of the pictures they post on Facebook. A Milwaukee man has been hit with felony charges for non-payment of child support after he posted pictures of himself on Facebook holding large amounts of cash. The Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office reported that they did not believe that the man was as poor as he claimed to be, so they obtained access to his Facebook account. The man has paid exactly zero dollars in child support since his two-year-old child was born.

Pictures that a person posts on Facebook can help establish probable cause in showing that the person may have more money than what is claimed on court documents. This probable cause is enough to allow an attorney to seek a search warrant.

When a non-custodial parent legitimately cannot afford to pay the support amount that was ordered, that person has a right to file a request with the court to modify the order based on a change to the financial situation. However, if a person does not request to modify the order, and simply does not pay, the past-due amounts will continue to accumulate. The person also faces the possibility of criminal sanctions for contempt of court if the judge disagrees with a parent’s assertion that the support payments are too high.

A parent who does not pay court-ordered child support may be subject to criminal penalties. A family law attorney may be able to help a custodial parent obtain past-due child support amounts by arguing in court for the suspension of the non-custodial parent’s driver’s license, garnishing wages or seizing funds in bank accounts. When all else fails, jail may be a possibility.

Source: Complex City Guide, “If You Can’t Pay Child Support, Don’t Flash Your Cash on Facebook,” Jillian Kimble, March 21, 2013

Source: Moneycrashers, “What Is Child Support — Laws & Guidelines for Payments,” Miranda Marquit