In all states, both parents are expected to financially support their children until they reach the age of 18 or graduate high school, whichever comes later. And in some states, such as New York, parents pay child support until their children turn 21.
It is very difficult these days for parents to escape paying child support. In California for example, the higher-earning parent can be ordered to pay child support even if they have joint physical custody of their children. And, incarceration does not stop the obligation to pay child support either, though a jail or prison sentence may lead to a “downward modification” if the incarcerated parent cannot afford their child support payments.
What if a Parent Can’t Be Located?
Before the digital age, a non-custodial parent could leave California and move to someplace like New York, Alaska, or Hawaii (or even someplace closer), and they might avoid paying child support for years because they couldn’t be located. But thanks to technology, parents can run, but it’s very difficult for them to hide for very long.
If your child’s other parent is missing and he or she is skipping out on their child support payments, there are tools that can help locate them. According to the Administration for Children & Families, you can help by providing the non-custodial parent’s Social Security number and any employer information you might have, even if they are living and working in another state. You see, state child support agencies have access to all kinds of information, such as:
- Motor vehicle records
- Professional licenses
- Occupational licenses
- Criminal records
- Vital statistics
- State tax records
- Public assistance agencies
- Public utility records
- Credit bureaus
- Bank account information
- State directories for new employees
- The IRS
You can give a name, a license plate number, and a driver license number, but the most important information you can provide to your local child support agency is the non-custodial parent’s Social Security number and any recent employer’s name and address that you may have. It also helps if you can provide contact information for relatives, friends, and former employers who may know where your child’s other parent is living or working.
Need help with a child support matter in Orange County? Contact Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP for professional, legal assistance.