The federal Parent Locator Service is available to help locate the parent of a child in order to establish a child support obligation and to collect past due amounts.
Upon an application for services, made to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, a search will be made of all the federal and state databases to locate the last known address and employer of the parent being sought. An application for services must contain: (1) the parent’s name; (2) the parent’s social security number, if known, or information to obtain the number to the extent possible; (3) whether the individual is or has been a member of the armed services, if known; (4) whether the individual is receiving, or has received, any Federal compensation or benefits, if known; and (5) any other information that will assist the Department in locating and identifying the parent.
Once an application is received, a search will be made of the federal and state databases to obtain information on the last known address of the parent, the current employer, and the income of the parent, including wages, self-employment income, and any state or federal benefits. The information must be treated as confidential, but it may be used to enforce any child support laws, including the establishment of a child support obligation, based on the information provided as to income. The information is also used to collect any past due amounts. For example, a father and mother live in Illinois. They separate and the mother and child move to Maryland. The father quits his job, stops paying child support, and moves to Colorado, where the father takes a new job. The father can be located through the use of the Parent Locator Service, and an interstate request will be sent to Colorado to initiate proceedings against the father.
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