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Facebook leads authorities to dad that owes back child support

Most everyone in New York knows that social media sites like Facebook have become increasingly popular over the past few years. As a matter of fact, their popularity has led child support enforcement agencies and district attorneys to monitor Facebook pages to locate and gather information on non-custodial parents that are behind in their payments. One such father is facing three felony charges as the result of an incriminating Facebook picture of himself that he posted where he is surrounded by a significant amount of cash.

Of course, authorities can't just hack into someone's Facebook page. They must first gather enough information to warrant obtaining a court order instructing Facebook to allow the petitioning agency access. Once they are allowed access, they are free to gather whatever information the subject's Facebook page offers.

That information can then be used in court as evidence against the owner of the Facebook page. In this case, there is a possibility that the money did not belong to the father in question. However, the man has not yet appeared in court to respond to the charges against him.

Anyone involved in a family law dispute such as a child support action whether in New York or any other estate may want to curtail their use of social media sites like Facebook. People tend to believe that their Facebook pages are private, but as illustrated by this case, they are not. Further, it's not just private citizens that are using Facebook posts and pictures as evidence in court; government agencies are now doing the same.

Source: ABC News, "Facebook Money Pics Bust Dad for Allegedly Dodging Child Support," Alexa Valiente, March 22, 2013