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Facebook can help parents seeking child support

When a Texas marriage ends in divorce, parents often struggle over the appropriate level of child support. It is not uncommon for the non-custodial parent to feel as if he or she is being asked to contribute an unfair amount for the care of a shared child or children. On the other hand, custodial parents often feel that a higher level of child support is required to ensure that the children are well cared for. In such cases, the matter often goes before a court of law.

When a parent is seeking an increase in child support, or the enforcement of existing child support payments, social media sites such as Facebook can be helpful. Often the non-custodial parent is making claims that he or she is unable to afford the current or proposed level of payment, but is also boasting online of an expensive or lavish lifestyle. If so, the court may allow postings and other online consent to be used as evidence in the case.

For example, a non-custodial parent may have shared the news of a promotion or bonus on social media. He or she might have gone a step further and posted photos of a newly purchased vehicle, or an expensive vacation. Faced with these issues in court, it becomes difficult to explain how such expenses are affordable while contributing to the financial burden of raising one's child is not.

For those in Texas who are considering using Facebook or other social media sites within a child support hearing, it is important to understand how such evidence is used. By meeting with a family law attorney and presenting the online content for review, it is possible to gain insight into how the courts weigh such evidence, as well as how social media posts or photos are collected and presented as evidence. Once the attorney has reviewed the material, he or she can structure a plan to increase or collect child support payments.

Source: The Washington Times, "Facebook cited in a third of all divorce cases: 'It's like having a massive public noticeboard'", Cheryl K. Chumley, Jan. 21, 2015

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