How can I find out if my child is in school and also locate my ex?

Question: I have a child that is over 18 and I am still paying child support. I know I am expected to pay if the child is in school until the age of 21 but there is no proof that the child is in school.

How do I go about forcing the issue of being provided proof of the child attending school?

I contacted the state but they said that as long as my ex-wife claims (just her word on the phone) that the child is in school that that is good enough for them to continue to enforce the order. The other part of this is that several years ago she moved and left no forwarding address or phone number.

What can I do about this? I have not seen a photo or spoken to my kids in years.

Answer: First, I must preface my answer that I do not practice in Missouri.  However, we do have attorneys licensed and located in Missouri who would be happy to help you.  In my jurisdiction, support ends once the child graduates from high school so we do not have issues with verifying post-secondary education.

Is there an Order giving her sole custody and denying you rights to visitation or contact with the children?  If not, she is in violation of the Order and you should contact an attorney to pursue a motion for contempt.

There are steps you can take to locate her.  In some jurisdictions, you can pay a fee to child support enforcement and they will send a letter on your behalf.  They may not give you the address but they will at least send the letter.

If you have an attorney, the attorney can write a letter demanding the information; she may be more cooperative if the letter is coming from an attorney.  Considering your payments have not been returned, I am assuming she has provided a current address to child support enforcement

If she doesn’t respond or if the agency is not willing to forward a letter, you can hire a private investigator to locate her.  Many attorneys use private investigators. If this is the route you want to go you can contact a local law ofice and ask who they would recommend.


Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.

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