Money Pictures May Cost Dad in Child Support Case

A Midwestern man whose Facebook pictures showed him literally rolling in cash and alcohol bottles may face a jarring court ruling as attorneys prepare to confront him about his child support agreement. The 23-year-old from Minnesota's neighboring Wisconsin is facing criminal charges in connection with the online profile information. He is accused of failing to pay any child support for his 3-year-old child.

Authorities report that the social media site showed the man posing with piles of bills and bottles of liquor. Those photographs provided enough information for prosecutors to open a criminal case. The man should have been paying $150 a month in child support, according to the court-ordered agreement.

Facebook is admittedly playing an increasingly important role in child custody and support proceedings, with the online media site undergoing consistent scrutiny from lawmakers. Attorneys for both sides are able to glean important information from online profiles, especially in family law cases.

In this situation, the man was posing with large amounts of money; he should have, therefore, been able to pay his monthly child support bills. People who claim that they do not have the resources to pay their child support can sabotage their own efforts by posting questionable material in online forums. It is not clear exactly where the man got the money, or if it even belonged to him, but the images provided adequate evidence for prosecutors to reopen the case.

The man could be sentenced to as long as 11 years in prison if he is convicted of the criminal charges.

Social media sites generally work to comply with law enforcement officers. As a result, people who are currently paying child support or alimony are urged to keep a low profile on the Internet. Questionable photographs can easily derail a child support agreement, resulting in additional legal fees even if the suspect is not guilty. Use discretion as you navigate the online social arena if you have an active custody agreement.

Source: ABC News, "Facebook money pics bust dad for allegedly dodging child support," Alexa Valiente, March 22, 2013

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