Numerous parents in various regions of the country have large amounts of money in the form of unclaimed child support that has not yet been deposited. Also referred to as abandoned money, unclaimed money is typically sent to the Treasury Department in the state where it was issued and is placed in a designated fund where it remains until it is claimed by its rightful owner. If you have money that belongs to you, it is important to take the required steps to recover it at your earliest convenience.
Why You Never Received Your Payments
You may be wondering why you never received your child support money in the first place. This is a legitimate question, and one for which no “one-size-fits-all” answer exists. Parents may fail to receive certain child-support funds for a variety of reasons. For example, a person may have owed child support that was in arrears, and therefore the court froze the payments or distributed them to the child's guardian to whom the support was owed. Other times, the courts may have tried to deliver payments to someone, but were unable to do so because of a mistake concerning his or her address. One may also have been in a rehabilitation program at which time he or she could not be reached. A person may have even been in the Armed Forces when an attempt to distribute the money was made. In virtually all of these scenarios the courts turn over such funds to the State Treasury Department. Once this has occurred, it is necessary for you to file the proper paperwork to acquire the funds that are rightfully yours.
Finding Out if You Are Owed Money
It is simple to discover if you are owed money from child support payments. You must simply enter your first and last name, Social Security number and date of birth into the unclaimed child support database, which is available online in most states. If you have a case number for your child support order, this can also be entered to expedite the process. Certain states require you to contact a government office or appear in person to apply for your money.
Taking the Next Step
After you have determined that you are owed money in the form of child support, contacting the court where the case was initially handled is the best step to take next. This court can probably assist you to find your money or at least direct you to the appropriate agency in your state. Many state agencies prefer to be contacted by mail or via a contact form online, but attempting to reach them by phone is recommended as well. This may speed up the process and ultimately free up your money faster. Once you have applied for your unclaimed child support payments, check back regularly with your state agency in order to stay updated regarding the status of your request. Most government agencies handle a high volume of cases concerning various issues and you do not want to allow your case to accidentally slip through the cracks.
Most states require that you provide proof of your current address, a valid driver's license and a Social Security card. If the child support payments are being claimed from an individual who has since passed away, a probate document, obituary or death certificate may be necessary. Looking up the laws in your state is important before you begin the process.
Finding Help to Search for Unclaimed Child Support
Certain companies and organizations specialize in helping consumers recover unclaimed child-support funds. Such companies have access to databases that allow them to conduct searches of this type nationwide. In this way, you can have a helping hand to navigate the process, and in certain cases your money can be recovered more quickly than if you were completing the process without assistance. However, it is important to remember that such companies charge a fee, and therefore it is in your best interest to inquire about this in advance. Even though the process may be somewhat complicated and in certain cases, lengthy, if you follow each step appropriately, your reward is the money that rightfully belongs to you and your family.
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