What if I don’t know where my child is living?

Most Texas court orders involving children require both parents to keep each other and the court informed about their current residence and place of employment. A court order that outlines visitation may have identification information that could be helpful in trying to locate your child. Obtain a copy of the court order from the district court clerk in the county where a decree was issued or paternity was established.

If the other parent moves without notifying you, or if the other parent disappeared with the child or is intentionally hiding the child, contact an attorney about your options. You may also need the assistance of a private detective or law enforcement officials. Follow the link to learn more about hiring an attorney.

Locate services are available from the OAG to individuals who are not receiving full child support services, but who request help in locating a parent. The OAG does not release address or other contact information.

You may apply for State Parent Locator Service if you are:
• the custodial parent with physical possession of the child(ren);
• a person (other than a parent) who, for at least the past six months, has had physical possession of the child(ren);
• the legal guardian or managing conservator with legal custody of the child(ren);
• a judge or agent of a court with jurisdiction over the paternity and/or support case;
• a court with jurisdiction to enforce custody or visitation; or
• the attorney of the child (ren) for whom paternity and/or support is sought.

Office of the Attorney General – Application for State Parent Locator Service

Complete the application and send it to:

Office of the Attorney General
Child Support Division – MC 036
State Parent Locate Service
P.O. Box 12400
Austin, TX 78711-2400

Most Texas court orders involving children require both parents to keep each other and the court informed, in writing, about their current residence and place of employment. Not all parents follow the court order and violations are enforceable through the court. Filing a motion with the court requires letting the other parent know about the pending action.

Court orders in cases involving family violence may not have this requirement to notify the parent about a change in residence or current contact information for safety reasons.