Zuba & Associates, P.C.

Social media can potentially influence child support orders

Child support is often a necessary aspect of providing the most financially stable environment possible for a child. This money typically contributes to nearly every aspect of a child's life, including clothing, food and even housing arrangements. While no parent in Illinois should be ordered to pay more than is reasonable or than they can afford, it can be frustrating when a parent refuses to pay child support that is reflective of what he or she owes or is capable of paying.

An out-of-state woman recently had to head to court when her ex-husband requested that his child support payments be lowered. According to his petition, he could no longer keep up with the payments and was in no financial situation to do so at any time in the near future. Unsure if he was being truthful, the woman turned to an unlikely ally -- social media.

Although he claimed to be financially strapped and unable to make child support payments, his Facebook page painted a different story. Apparently, he routinely violated a court order that required him to stop drinking by going out partying on weekends when he had visitation with his two children. The pictures of him at parties often featured a beer in his hand. Another picture plucked from social media depicted a new vehicle that he had just purchased. After submitting the pictures, the ex's petition to have his child support payments lowered was denied.

Of course, no parent who is in a compromised or unstable financial situation should be ordered to pay more than he or she can handle,. However, there is a legal expectation that non-custodial parents help financially support their children within their means. Whether a current child support order is too high or too low, either parent can petition the family law court in Illinois in order to have the amount adjusted to a more appropriate level.

Source: abcactionnews.com, "Social media a potent tool for divorce lawyers tracking down deadbeat parents, others", Sarina Fazan, Oct. 22, 2015

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