What is the federal parent locator service?


Raising a child can be expensive. There are the everyday costs, the extracurricular activities fees and medical needs that may arise. These financial obligations can be difficult to cover when two parents are contributing fairly, but far too many Virginians are trying to cover them on their own. This typically happens when a noncustodial parent fails to make his or her child support payments, forcing the custodial parent to find a way to make things work out on his or her own.

Those in this situation may not know what to do to ease their struggle, and the overwhelming strain can cause excessive stress and fear. Yet, one tool that custodial parents can utilize in an attempt to recover child support is the federal parent locator service.

What is the federal parent locator service? The locator service, as its name implies, helps custodial parents find noncustodial parents so that child support orders can be more easily enforced. It works together with state and local agencies, and assesses several databases, including the National Directory of New Hires, the Federal Case Registry and the Passport Denial Program.

Once a parent is located, enforcement action may be taken. This may include wage garnishment or income tax return withholding. Additionally, the federal locator service may help impose penalties on noncustodial parents who fail to pay their obligation. For example, a noncustodial parent may be denied a passport if he or she is behind on child support.

Fulfilled child support obligations can be a huge financial relief to custodial parents. However, far too often these parents are left to fend for themselves and their children. This is wholly unfair and unacceptable. Instead of doing nothing, though, these parents should figure out what legal actions they can take to find relief and support for their children's financial needs.

Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, "Federal Parent Locator Service," accessed on Oct.11, 2015

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Christian Curtis, LLC ALEXANDRIA VA
Christian Curtis, LLC ALEXANDRIA VA