Gather all the information you have and follow every lead you get to track down that deadbeat dad. You can use the Internet, a private investigator or your local child support enforcement agency to find him and collect the money he owes you.
Difficulty: Moderately challenging
Things You'll Need
- Yellow Pages
- Internet Access
Gather all the information you have, such as his date of birth, Social Security number, a clear photograph, and names of friends, family and employers.
Keep an accurate record of what he owes you so that if you find him, you're prepared to collect.
Find out what the procedure is in your state for collecting overdue child support. Schedule a free consultation with an attorney or call the court that originally ordered the support to find out what you need to do.
Check with the post office and phone company for his forwarding addresses and phone numbers. Follow through on this information.
Call everyone you can think of who might have an idea of where he is. This includes any professional or union organizations he belongs to. Call his doctor, his dentist, the bar where he hangs out and anyplace else you can think of. Follow any leads you get.
Contact your local child support enforcement agency for assistance. If you don't know what this agency is called, call the mayor's office, your district's state legislator's office or the county attorney's office and ask them. Share any information you have about his whereabouts with the agency. They may have additional resources available for collecting the support owed.
Do an online search to locate him or information about him. Many sites will allow you to search a database of information for no cost and offer more detailed searches for a fee. You may be able to find out he has registered a car, applied for a loan or gotten credit in another state or city.
Consider hiring a private investigator if he's being very elusive. This will cost you money but may have good results. Check your state's laws to see if you can be reimbursed for this expense if he is located.
Pursue the matter in court. You may be able to get the court to issue a warrant for his arrest or obtain a judgment against him for the amount owed.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep careful records of your search and make sure you track down every lead.
- Rack your brain to think of places he might have gone - his brother's fishing cabin, his buddy's apartment in another city, and so on.
- Be careful how you present the situation to your child. He or she probably loves him and feels very conflicted by the whole situation. Explain what's going on - "Daddy hasn't paid me the money the court told him to" - but let your child know that he or she should not get involved. Emphasize that you think it's great that your child loves Dad and that that's OK with you.
- Be prepared to meet with resistance from his friends and family and the organizations he belongs to. Doctors and dentists are not supposed to release any information, but some people are able to convince them to help.
- Don't follow him, break into his home or do any other illegal activities. Losing your freedom isn't worth any revenge you may get.