Many people in Illinois use Facebook as a way to connect with friends and family. With the click of a button, a Facebook user can share their photos, thoughts and whereabouts. However, when it comes to family law matters, Facebook and other social media websites can just as easily get people into trouble.
Currently, a father’s Facebook page is at the center of a child support case in the Midwest. State prosecutors say that Facebook photos of a dad posing with wads of cash should be considered evidence that the man can afford his child support payments for his 6-year-old daughter.
However, the man claims that he is living in poverty and is unable to make child support payments. When questioned about the photos, which were captioned “Betcha baby daddy ain’t jackin like this,” the man said the money was not his and he was merely posing with it.
This case presents an important warning to people involved in family law matters: Anything posted to Facebook and other social media websites is public and searchable.
It is becoming very common for things posted on Facebook to show up in divorce, child custody and child support cases as evidence. Years ago, family law attorneys would have to hire private investigators to dig up evidence of drug and alcohol abuse, extramarital affairs, or hidden money. But today, much of that is available simply by clicking through someone’s Facebook page.
The bottom line is this: If you wouldn’t want a judge to see it, don’t post it.
Source: WISN.com, “Facebook page at center of child-support case,” Dec. 10, 2012