The legal phrase, in absentia, is Latin for "not present, away." Therefore, when a parent is "in absentia," it is very hard to get child support. In some states, it is even hard to get a divorce if the other partner cannot be served with a notice of the divorce hearing. So, what happens when you need child support and the parent is in absentia? It looks something like this.
Ruling Made for Child Support
In some states, you cannot get or receive public welfare benefits if you have not attempted to get child support from the other parent. As such, you will need to go to court and request that the other parent be served with a mandate for child support. You will need to supply the judge with your ex's or ex-spouse's last known address or whereabouts. The judge will issue the mandate to that state in case your ex tries to apply for a job in that state.
Meanwhile, you can take a copy of the judge's ruling to your local Department of Human Services (DHS). Apply for public assistance programs to help you feed and care for your child. If your ex is found and he/she starts paying child support, you may need to pay some of these benefits back, or DHS will decrease the amount you receive.
Tracking Down Your Ex
If you have the money to do it (and most people do not), hire a private investigator to locate your ex. It the P.I. can narrow down the location to a city or county of residence, then the courts can issue a warrant for ex's arrest. Of course, you may have to wait until your ex owes a substantial amount of child support, but it helps.
Paying for Everything on Your Own
Having a parent in absentia is difficult on everyone. It is a strain on you because you have to work like crazy to pay for what your child needs, including child care you really cannot afford. It is a strain on your children, because they never see you. It is a strain on the courts and police departments because they cannot find your ex and can only arrest him/her if there is a warrant.
Until things fall into place and your ex is forced to start paying child support, you are on your own. There is only so much the courts can do. Fortunately for your child, you are the parent that cared enough to stick around. If you have questions, check out sites like http://www.cappolellalaw.com that discuss child support.