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Resources for child support enforcement and assistance

Raising a child is an expensive proposition. The cost of food, healthcare, daycare/education and other daily expenses is legally viewed as a shared responsibility between both parents. When a court orders a non-custodial parent to pay child support and they attempt to evade this responsibility, it can not only be a stressful ordeal for the custodial parent but it can also have negative consequences for the children who no longer have the support they need.

Fortunately, the Federal and State Parent Locator Services provide state and federal assistance to parents attempting to locate child support obligors. When a custodial parent cannot locate the parent who owes child support, federal and state governments work together and combine resources to ensure they are found and support is paid.

In North Dakota, if the obligor's location is unable to be determined by the custodial parent or the Child Support program, the Parent Locator Service will contact sources such as employers and governmental agencies to gather more information regarding their whereabouts. This information will be cross-checked with federal databases such as the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration and state workforce agencies.

Once the obligor's location is discovered, the responsible caseworker will be notified so they can pursue enforcement of court-ordered child support. If the obligor's location cannot be determined, the custodial parent may be eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This program provides state government assistance to needy children deprived of parental support because of several reasons, one of which is 'continued absence from the home'.

Federal and state governments take failure to pay child support very seriously. Child support may be garnished from many sources including federal taxes, employment wages, and the seizure of property. For parents who are involved in a custody dispute or who are trying to locate a child support obligor, an experienced family law attorney can help guide them through the process of making sure that the child's financial needs are met.

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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