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Locating noncustodial parents who are in the military

There are times when the military is not able to disclose where a service member is stationed, such as at time of war. There are resources available that may be able to help you locate the noncustodial parent of a child.

The Federal Parent Locator Service

One of those resources is the FPLS receives information from a variety of other sources, including the National Directory of New Hires. That directory gets its information from the Department of Defense, the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, state workforce agencies and new hire directories in each state. Almost anyone who is employed has a quarterly wage record at the NDNH. Unemployment claims are also kept there.

State Parent Locator Service

States keep records, too, in a locator service called State Parent Locator Service. Child support agencies can get information from SPLS when security safeguards are in place and there has been due process. That service collects information from local and state governments, credit bureaus, the State Directory of New Hires and private entities like banks, utility companies and cable television companies.

These locator services can also be tapped for information in order to learn about where a parent or child is so that a visitation or custody determination can be made. While a child's parent is not considered an authorized person for custody or visitation purposes, an agent of any state, an agent of the court or the court is.

Child custody matters involving a spouse in the military can be truly difficult. An experienced lawyer who understands military law can help.

Source: Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "A Handbook for Military Families: Helping You with Child Support," accessed March 25, 2016

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