Finding an absent parent for child support

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Monday, September 26, 2016.

Illinois parents who have full custody of their children and who want the other parent to pay for his or her obligations may decide to pursue child support. However, the first hurdle that these parents face is trying to locate the absent parent who has often tried to shirk his or her financial obligations.

Before child support can be ordered, the other parent must be served with legal documents that indicate that the custodial parent is seeking child support so that he or she has proper notice. By gathering as much information about this parent as possible, it may be easier to find him or her. This process is often easier if the parents were married since they may have access to important identifying information through tax returns and other papers. The custodial parent should find as much information as possible and create a list that includes this information, including the parent’s Social Security number, children’s birth certificates, former addresses and lists of names of people who know the parent and possibly his or her whereabouts.

Another helpful resource for finding an absent parent is the Federal Parent Locator Service which provides assistance to state child support agencies by retrieving information from multiple sources. It is often much more difficult to track a parent who is in another state than the custodial parent because that state’s resources are only allocated to finding in-state parents. This is particularly true when the parent is willfully evading obligations.

States have a variety of ways of enforcing child support orders once the parent has been located. A custodial parent who is owed back support may want to meet with an attorney in order to determine how best to proceed.

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