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Military helpful in tracing active duty parents


For the majority of people who divorce, relationships with former spouses can be strained enough that they keep contact to a minimum. Many, however, must remain in communication because the needs of their minor children require their cooperation over a variety of matters, including the payment of child support. Sometimes, though, as some custodial parents in Virginia have discovered, if their ex-spouses are serving in the military, their whereabouts can sometimes be unknown because of sudden changes in assignments or overseas deployments. When it comes to receiving court-ordered child support, this can mean big trouble for a custodial parent.

Fortunately, custodial parents and the dependent children of military personnel can ask for help from federal authorities to locate the military personnel. In fact, parental location services are available at both the federal and state levels. These location services can be used to trace a parent or a child in the enforcement of custody and visitation orders.

The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement operates the Federal Parent Locator Service to track noncustodial parents using information provided by such government agencies as the Internal Revenue Service, the individual branches of the military, state workforce agencies and the Social Security Administration.

Every state has its own version of a parental locator service that can help locate noncustodial parents through the records of state and local governments, public utilities, financial institutions and credit bureaus.

Each service branch maintains its own locator service that can find and provide the location of all military personnel on duty and deployed anywhere in the world; the lone exception may be the U.S. Army. This service is free to family members and government personnel. The information found therein may be very helpful.

Source: acf.hhs.gov, "A handbook for military families: Helping you with child support," Accessed May 29, 2015

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