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What is the Parent Locator System?

There are many Pennsylvania parents who have custody of their children, but do not know where the non-custodial parent is. This can be problematic from the standpoint of obtaining child support money owed by non-custodial parents to the custodial parents of their children -- according to Pennsylvania child support laws. However, there is a valuable government service called the Parent Locator System, which can help parents locate non-custodial parents who may owe them and their children money.

The Parent Locator System is offered by the Domestic Relations Sections of Pennsylvania's county Court of Common Pleas. Generally, the Domestic Relations Sections refers cases, where the location of a non-custodial parent is unknown, to the Parent Locator System. The service uses information from local, state and federal databases to search for and find missing non-custodial parents.

In order to benefit from the Parent Locator System, custodial parents are asked to provide the non-custodial parent's information, including: name, birthdate and social security number, if known. They are asked to provide as much information as they can to aid in the search. More information about the Parent Locator System can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions sections of the Pennsylvania state child support services page.

Countless single parents throughout Pennsylvania rely on child support to provide financially for their children. Without it, many of these parents would not be able to survive. No one should ever be ashamed, embarrassed or "too proud" to demand financial help from a non-paying, non-custodial parent who has failed to help provide for his or her children. It is both the right of custodial parents -- and more importantly, the right of their children -- to receive this kind of financial assistance from the other parent.

Source: Pennsylvania Bureau of Child Support Enforcement, "Pennsylvania Child Support Handbook," accessed March 22, 2016

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