Sometimes the biggest hurdle to collecting arrears can be simply finding your ex. The problem gets even bigger if he moves without leaving a forwarding address, ditches his credit cards, and gets paid only in cash. If that’s not enough the agencies that were built to help you will tell you to find him yourself or deal with it. Unpaid child support is a $118 billion dollar problem millions of custodial parents deal with on their own, with little to no help when a payor evades his obligation. It’s especially rough when it’s entirely possible to locate him, no matter how well your ex thinks he’s hiding.
Why Child Support Enforcement (“CSE”) and Lawyers Come Up Short
It’s impossible to make any progress toward collecting support without finding the obligor, and, to put it simply, agencies involved in child support enforcement are not equipped for the search or charge a hefty fee. Most lawyers do not have the tools needed to conduct these searches and the average family law firm avoids collection-only cases because they aren’t profitable and have meager success rates. Hiring a private investigator would only add to the cost of mounting legal fees, and combined with how time-consuming and labor-intensive this method is, it’s simply not worth the hassle.
CSE, meanwhile, lacks the sophisticated technology and resources necessary to handle any case that isn’t a straightforward wage withholding or IRS intercept. They are stretched so thin that many times they require you to provide his address, place of work and where he gets his haircut.
Despite What They Say, Finding Your Ex Is Possible
Just because CSE says they don’t know where he is, or you can’t find a forwarding address, it doesn’t mean your ex has vanished. 98% of all evasive exes can be found. They may have disappeared to varying degrees, but short of being in the witness protection program or moving to the moon, they can be found.
Old Problem, Modern Solution
Using legal technology makes the law more accessible and easier to navigate. Innovation has paved the way for child support collection measures to become a more affordable alternative to a lawyer.
New solutions are available to solve these problems.
We live in the 21st century, don’t we? Why pay a P.I. to look for your ex when an automated online app could search for them while you get a cup of coffee? Skip tracing programs could be searching in multiple places simultaneously, looking through DMV records and bank transactions in less time than it takes you to even begin to plan your approach to finding your ex’s location and assets.
If there’s a cheaper, smarter way to do something, it should be the first option you explore. If your ex has disappeared, and CSE or the lawyer aren’t giving you answers, you owe it to yourself to try something new. Maybe you only remember half of his license plate number or SSN, using the most advanced tools to search for him and his assets, even the smallest crumb of information could lead you to collecting on his arrears.