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Locating a deadbeat parent

Although divorce can be stressful and costly, the impact can be particularly devastating for children, especially if the non-custodial parent loses contact after the divorce is finalized. In some cases, loss of contact may be purposeful. A parent attempting to avoid paying child support might limit their interaction with their child and ex-spouse. A household dealing with extreme income limits could be particularly impacted by a support-owing parent ignoring a Virginia court child support order.

It can be especially difficult to track down a parent across state lines. Although states are expected to cooperate in the enforcement of child support orders, a delinquent parent might attempt to avoid contact with those who could handle such enforcement. In some cases, a parent will work a cash-only job to avoid having wages garnished by the government. A warrant for arrest could result in positive efforts to collect support if an individual is stopped and identified by the authorities. However, this is not always easily managed.

It may be helpful for a custodial parent to provide authorities with personal information such as the other party's Social Security number or information about their loved ones. The Federal Parent Locator Service can also assist in locating a deadbeat parent. If a support-owing parent files taxes or earns wages from a company, the government could order that those funds be garnished on behalf of the party to whom support is due.

During divorce proceedings, it is helpful to be sure that support is legally documented to ensure that the terms are clearly identified for all interested parties. Additionally, it may be helpful to arrange for the processing of support through a government agency so that a failure to pay can be legally addressed.

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