SHAME! Using Facebook to Enforce Support

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Child Support on Friday, January 22, 2016.

Arizona’s “Hashtag Governor” announced that his state will start using social media to publicly shame deadbeat parents who refuse to pay their child support.

In Florida every child has the right to financial support from both parents. The Department of Revenue is the state agency responsible for Florida’s Child Support Enforcement Program. In Miami-Dade County, the Office of the State Attorney handles the program.

The Department of Revenue locates parents, establishes paternity, gets support orders and enforces them. Florida wants parents, not the state, to take care of their children. And, if the parents are not paying, we all are paying.

Florida has a number of ways to enforce child support orders:

– contempt of court,

– suspension of driver’s license,|

– property liens,

– Passport suspension, and

– Bank account seizure

There is no statute of limitations on the enforcement of child support and child support arrears. Child support can be enforced after the children are over 18, and even against the estate of a parent after a parent’s death.

Arizona announced a new way to enforce child support orders. Governor Doug Ducey launched a campaign to crack down on “the worst of the worst” parents by posting their names and photos to Twitter and Facebook.

“For too long, you’ve been able to remain anonymous – able to skirt your financial and legal responsibilities with no shame. Not anymore,” the governor proclaimed. Effective immediately, he said, the state would begin posting the photos, names and money owed by “these losers” to social media, with the hashtag #deadbeat.

It’s simple. If you’re old enough to father a child, then you’re old enough to accept financial responsibility for that child. If you don’t want you’re embarrassing – unlawful – and irresponsible behavior going viral: Man up, and pay up,” the Republican governor said.

The governor said the shaming campaign is targeting 421 deadbeats in the state (34 of whom are women) who collectively owe $20 million. “These deadbeats are the worst of the worst,” he tweeted on Wednesday.

I’ve written about child support related issues before, as well as written an article on social media and family law. The collection and enforcement of unpaid child support is a big issue in Florida, and impacts us all.

The Business Insider article on Arizona is available here.