Guest Author - Cynthia Parker
After three months, I finally received the paperwork from the state child support enforcement agency (part of the Department of Social Services) asking for information to be used in tracking down my ex-spouse.
Most of the information they requested is the same information they requested when they set him up on payments to be made via wage withholding through Family Court! If they already had this information, why do they need to request it again before they can do anything? This is a frustrating process.
In addition, I have recently been told that my ex IS still living in the "family home", though Family Court had been unable to serve him with a notice to appear in court at that residence AND had been informed that the home had been sold. I am in the process of confirming this for myself, because waiting for someone else to do so and relying upon those results is not as trustworthy as I would have hoped.
Despite the aggravation and the delays, I am finding that this route is still more fruitful and less risky that using child support enforcement agencies. I have since received letters from two more custodial parents using SupportKids to assist in collecting child support who have had less than desirable interactions with the company. The original woman that I wrote about has been able to get out of her contract with SupportKids by enlisting legal assistance to do so. As it turns out, she was told that the state of California has cases pending against SupportKids, too! But I digress and will be writing an additional article about SupportKids and the new information I have gleened in the very near future.
I have found that as much research as you can do yourself in finding your ex-spouse and collecting information such as current residence and employment, the better off you are. If you ever filed joint tax returns, you have his/her social security number. This opens many doors to much information! Yes, there is usually a fee for such information; however, it is relatively small compared to hiring someone to do the research and/or an attorney to follow-up with it. Not to mention the fact that Family Court is rather surprised when you hand them a file with their work already done for them. It let's them know that you are serious and that you are not going to put up with the beauracratic standard of "dragging their heels."
I won't lie to you - this is not an easy or quick process. But it is far better than giving up and doing without the support your children deserve. I will be writing a more detailed article on how to do your own research in the very near future. Until then, to all the custodial parents who are not receiving child support, hang in there because our situations will get better! And to all those noncustodial parent who are paying child support and caring for your children, bless you!