Resources used by state agencies to find non-custodial parents

Child custody matters can be complex no matter which state a family resides in, even when both parents are involved in the child's life. Some custodial parents in Minnesota and across the U.S., however, may be faced with the task of locating the non-custodial parent for the purpose of collecting child support. In these cases, parents may need to utilize outside resources, such as a state child support enforcement agency, to track down the non-custodial parent.

According to legal professionals, there are many resources individuals and organizations can use to determine a non-custodial parent's address. Enforcement agencies may attempt to contact the individual's friends and relatives, current or past employers, and financial institutions. Social networking sites, including Facebook, may also be a useful location tool. In certain situations, a state enforcement agency may utilize an online database, such as the State Directory of New Hires, which is part of the State Parent Locator Service.

State agencies are required to work within a strict time-frame when attempting to locate a non-custodial parent. First, the agency must open a case within 20 days of receiving the application. The enforcement agency then has 75 business days to make contact with individuals and institutions that may have information regarding a parent's whereabouts. If the non-custodial parent is living in a different state than his or her child, that state's agency must be notified.

Following a divorce or break-up between two people with a child or children in common, determining the best interests of the child is typically of paramount importance. When a custodial parent is unable to locate their former spouse or partner, he or she may wish to consult with an attorney or state child enforcement agency for guidance.

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