Child support can be arranged either through a court order or an agreement made by a couple during a divorce. However, just because parents owed support it does not mean that they will always receive it. When an individual fails to meet the obligations, it may be up to the custodial parent to determine the location of the non-paying parent.
The good news is that there are local and federal government agencies, such as the Federal Parent Locator Service, that exist to help parents locate individuals who fail to pay child support. Once a person has been located, there are a variety of penalties and inducements that can be used to get someone to start paying, including wage garnishments and putting liens on their property.
The more information that a person has about a non-paying parent, the more likely that the person will be located. When working with the state to find an individual, people should attempt to find and provide the person's full name, their Social Security number, the names and contact information of friends and family and a copy of a court order stating their child support obligation.
Even if parents are making their support payments on time, they may not fully be meeting their financial obligations. If a person who pays support comes into a large amount of money or a job that greatly increases their income, the custodial parent may be able to obtain an increase in the amount of support that they receive. A lawyer could explain to a parent what circumstances may allow them to request a child support modification as well as assisting them in building a case for the increase.