How Do You Get Child Support if You Don’t Know Where the Noncustodial Parent Is?

Your marriage is long since over, the divorce has been finalized, and you have primary custody of the kids. Your ex-spouse is not answering you calls, seems to be missing, and has not paid child support in a few months. You are struggling to pay the bills and handle the financial aspect of raising children on your own. You are owed child support as part of the divorce decree but you don’t know where your spouse is in order to get that support enforced. What do you do?

Need help with child support enforcement in Chicago? Turn to the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. at (312) 487-2795 where you can consult with a knowledgeable and trusted attorney.

Get Started in Your Search

Your first order of business in the search to find a delinquent parent who is not paying child support is to gather as much information as you can as to where your ex-spouse might be and how to make contact. You may already have some of the important identifying information that can be useful in the enforcement process. Those items can include Social Security Number, a copy of the child support order via the court, a copy of your child’s birth certificate, and copies of where the delinquent parent has worked and lived both present and in the past.

Your next step will be to contact the state agency in charge of enforcing child support. In Illinois, you can turn to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services. This agency can help you locate a parent through various sources. It also maintains a Delinquent Parents site that posts pictures and information about delinquent parents who owe $5,000 or more in past-due support payments.

The Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS)

The Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) operates under the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) which provides assistance to states in finding noncustodial parents as well as in enforcing and collecting child support payments. This agency has the power to find delinquent parents through such agencies and The National Directory of New Hires that operates as a central source of information regarding employment, unemployment insurance, and wage information for people, obtained through various other state and federal agencies.

The FPLS can also access information on child support orders and court participants through the Federal Case Registry, a national database. Other agencies that can contribute assistance through the FPLS are the Federal Offset Program that can take child support payments out of tax refunds to delinquent parents, the Passport Denial Program that operates with the Secretary of State to deny passports to delinquent parents who owe more than $2,500, and the Multistate Financial Institution Data Match that helps find the financial assets of delinquent parents.

The FPLS can use data from all the agencies listed above to locate a parent who has found a new job, claimed unemployment, or who has wage information, after which enforcement measures can be taken. As an individual, you cannot request this information and help directly from the FPLS but you can work with your state child support agency who can get the information to help you locate the parent who owes you the support.

The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. Provides Seasoned Legal Help

Going without child support payments can be frustrating and overwhelming to handle on your own. Getting help is essential. At the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., we do nothing else but handle family law matters such as child support, divorce, custody, and more. Our outstanding legal team is dedicated to providing you with the personal attention you deserve and to helping you achieve your legal objectives as efficiently as possible.

Let us use our knowledge and skills on your behalf. Call us at (312) 487-2795 for the help you need today.

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