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How can I have child support arrears vacated or modified in New York, if I cannot locate the custodial parent?

Q: My daughter’s father had asked the court for child support when he had custody of them in 2009. When I had received custody in 2010, I thought that the order was terminated but it was only suspended and then reactivated later that year without my knowledge. I just found out in December of last year, that due to a child support unit glitch the arrears had built up over the last 7 years without my knowledge and are totaling $50,000. My daughter’s father has had the the girls since 2014 because I lost my home and had to move into a shelter with my son. I have gone to court to try to modify or vacate the arrears, but because I cannot locate him the court will not help me. I cannot pay that amount of arrears I seriously need help and I don’t know how to find him. I don’t have the funds to hire a detective or put out a publication in the newspaper. I have gone to his family to try to locate him they don’t know where he lives he changed his phone number and has cut off all contact with anyone that might have known. At this point I don’t know what to do and the magistrate will not vacate or modify the arrears unless he comes to court and states that he is in agreement.

A: Unfortunately, the other side is entitled to be served with the petition. If his whereabouts are completely unknown, then you can always attempt informal internet searches, checking with SCU or hiring a P.I. to conduct a limited search in an attempt to find him. Call a Bronx Child Support attorney for more info.

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