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Social media requires extra thought amidst family law disputes

Think before you act. It has been an adage for a long time, but like everything else it should be updated to fit the times. In this day-and-age it seems as though "Think before you post" is a more appropriate saying -- especially when it comes to family law issues such as divorce, child custody or support obligations.

Following this saying could have prevented a recent child support problem for one man who got tangled up with unpaid support, court orders, felony charges and "income" accusations. It all started with a photo that he posted on the social media site Facebook.

The incident began when the man fell behind on his child support payments. The failure to pay eventually led to enforcement and felony charges in a criminal court. He claimed that he was living in poverty. The prosecution claims that he has access to money. As evidence for the prosecution, the photo from Facebook was presented.

The photo depicted the man holding a significant amount of money, surrounded by words that referenced being a father with money. The photo he said was taken out of context and that the money wasn't his. "I'm just taking my picture with it," he said. He also said that it wasn't proof that the money belonged to him.

Photographs, wall posts and tweets can all be taken out of context. When you are talking about support payments based on income or modifications based on a change of circumstances, a photo next to a nice car, a comment about going somewhere exotic or even too many "pings" at local restaurants could be misconstrued. When it comes to social media, if you question posting it, it might be better to leave it off until a dispute has been resolved.

Source: WISN News, "Facebook page at center of child-support case," Dec. 10, 2012

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