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Parents shunned online for child support deficiencies

Last week President Barack Obama made his State of the Union speech to the American public. Additionally, Arizona's governor, Doug Ducey, also made a State of the Union address that focused on issues of importance to the state's residents. An important family law topic came up during Ducey's comments and it has raised the concerns of some fathers' rights groups.

During his annual address, Ducey announced that some parents who fall behind on child support payments will be publicly shunned through social media. The state will use Facebook and Twitter to identify by name and picture individuals who have missed payments and fallen significantly behind on the support they owe to their children. While only a handful of the 421 identified parents are women, Ducey identified the group of individuals as "deadbeat dads."

One fathers' rights group in the state has claimed that the governor's move is done to draw publicity and that it fails on several levels. First, it does not recognize the fact that nonpaying parents are often parents without any money with which to make child support payments. Additionally, it unfairly focuses on men while women are just as capable to become delinquent on their support obligations.

Now parents who miss payments to their kids could find themselves identified on social media for their noncompliance. Those who are able to may seek modifications to their child support orders in order to stay current on their responsibilities and avoid the fate of the 421 men and women whom have been identified by the governor as deadbeats. Others may not be able to do so and may find themselves picked out online for their financial challenges.

Source: NBC News, "Arizona Uses Facebook and Twitter to Publicly Shame 'Deadbeat Dads'," James Eng, Jan. 13, 2016

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