Facebook served search warrant in unpaid child support case

Authorities will pull out all of the stops when it comes to tracking down those parents who are behind on child support payments. A perfect example of this was recently highlighted when a search warrant was served on Facebook to try and learn more about a father’s whereabouts. He reportedly owes more than $100,000 in child support.

The Facebook search warrant request was made by an agent of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In return, the social media giant compiled and provided a CD that contains IP history, comments, pictures, messages, interests and a list of the father’s friends on the social media site.

In this unpaid child support case, the father was reportedly ordered to pay for his daughter in 1994, which was the year after she was born. However, according to the federal warrant, the last recorded child support payment was received in September 1996.

For failing to pay child support, he was charged with six felony counts. But, authorities are having a hard time finding him as he moved across the country and has started a personal training business.

When looking at this case, while requesting a search warrant from Facebook may at first seem unheard of, the truth is Facebook is increasingly playing a role in family law. While in this case authorities have become involved since failing to pay child support is a crime, in other cases attorneys have reported seeing evidence from social media sites being presented during divorce proceedings. In some cases, the information is used in court to try and make an ex-husband or wife look like a bad parent.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Investigators tap Facebook for details in child support case,” John Diedrich, Aug. 3, 2012

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