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How do I find the non-custodial parent for child support?

If a non-custodial parent of a child is not stepping up to the plate and choosing to shirk their financial obligations towards their child, the law can compel them to pay their fair share towards raising their child.

To start the legal process, however, the non-custodial parent must be notified that there is legal action being taken against them so that they have a chance to respond. If the location of the non-custodial parent is not known, the state has tools at its disposal to help locate and contact the non-custodial parent.

The easiest way to locate a non-custodial parent is via the local state child support office. In order for the child support office to quickly locate the non-custodial parent they will need their social security number and their current or last known employer information.

If the social security number of the non-custodial parent is not known but their current or previous employer is known, the child support office has access to the State Directory of New Hires database which contains information about new employees that employers must submit when they recruit a new hire.

If all else fails the child support office can subpoena any relevant information about the non-custodial parent that is related to their bank accounts, income tax returns, pay slips or even insurance policies. Also, it is important to note that if both parents filed any joint federal income tax returns in the last three years, it is possible for the child support office to request the social security number directly from the IRS.

If the noncustodial parent cannot be located locally, then as long as the social security number of the noncustodial parent is known the child support office can request the State Parent Locator Service to run a search using their social security number. The SPLS will then use records available from state agencies such as the motor vehicle department to locate the parent.

If it turns out that the parent is no longer residing in the same state, the SPLS can forward the search request to the state that the parent currently resides in, as well as the Federal Parent Locator Service.

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “Child Support Handbook – Chapter 2,” Accessed March 30, 2015

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