Requests for Information from the FPLS
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
TO: ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Requests for Information from the Federal Parent Locator Service for the Purpose of Making or Enforcing a Child Custody or Visitation Determination
It has been brought to our attention that some State IV-D agencies are not providing adequate assistance to noncustodial parents who want to request information from the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) for custody or visitation purposes. The enclosed PIQ provides State IV-D agencies with guidance on this issue.
As explained in detail in the enclosed PIQ, Federal law does not permit a noncustodial parent to directly submit such a request to either the IV-D agency's State Parent Locator Service (SPLS) or the FPLS. However, the IV-D agency should advise noncustodial parents about the proper steps for submitting such requests for FPLS information.
In summary, a noncustodial parent may request that an appropriate State official who is an "authorized person" within the meaning of the statute submit the request to the FPLS via the SPLS, provided that the State has a law that empowers the official to act on behalf of the State to enforce a child custody or visitation determination. The noncustodial parent may also petition a court with proper jurisdiction to submit the request to the FPLS via the SPLS on his or her behalf. A private attorney is not considered to be an agent of the court for the purposes of the statutory definition of "authorized person."
We appreciate your cooperation in informing noncustodial parents about the procedures for requesting FPLS information for custody or visitation purposes.
David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement