I’m a recently retired U.S. Army Veteran attempting to locate my missing daughter.
I have court-ordered visitation and phone calls authorized with my daughter, but I have not seen or heard from her since September. I believe her mother is attempting to alienate me out of her life despite the fact that I pay child support.
I do not practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general tips on your situation.
In Wisconsin, where I practice law, the first step in a situation such as this would be to contact law enforcement and explain the situation and see if they are able to assist in any way. If your child’s mother has taken your child out of the state or out of the country without informing you, there may be federal and state laws that she has violated.
Additionally, in Wisconsin, when a parent has a court order stating they have certain rights, and the other parent is preventing those rights from being exercised, we can file what is called a “motion to enforce” or an “order to show cause for contempt.”
This alerts the court to the fact that the opposing party is not following a court order and usually results in a hearing being scheduled to determine whether the opposing party is violating a court order and what can be done about it. Motions of this nature are required to be personally served on the party whom they’re filed against which is difficult when you don’t know where the other party is residing.
However, most states have other methods of service available (such as publication) if the whereabouts of a party are unknown. Filing such an action in conjunction with working with local law enforcement will help to get both of these entities on board with trying to locate your daughter.
Another option would be to hire a private investigator or “skip tracer” who might have access to information or skills that would assist in locating your daughter and her mother.
Realistically, if your child’s mother is receiving child support, someone must know where she is, or her support wouldn’t be getting to her. I bet there is a paper trail somewhere that can be found.
Finally, as a Veteran, you may have access to certain legal assistance programs through the Department of Veterans Affairs and they may be able to assist you with this.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.