Tips for Reuniting With an Estranged Father

Families come in all shapes and sizes. Some children grow up with two parents and siblings. Others have a single mom or dad raising them alone. Sometimes, other family members, such as grandparents, raise children if their parents can’t.

There are numerous reasons for a parent to be absent from their child’s life. Over 13 percent of parents are alienated from one or more of their children. The other parent may take steps to prevent them from seeing their child, leading to the estrangement. A parent may be absent if they’re injured in an accident or sent to jail. Whatever the reason for their absence, many people try to locate absent parents for multiple reasons. Let’s look at how to locate and reunite with your absent parent.

Do some research.

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Family members may have information about your missing father. For example, suppose your mom won’t talk about your dad. You could ask your grandparents, aunts, and uncles for information about your father. They may know his parents’ names or the names of siblings. They may recall his birth date and where he grew up or went to high school. This information can help you search for your father.

Use online people search tools to search for personal information about your father. Pro People Search scours criminal records, credit reports, and social media sites to compile a report containing personal information about the person you seek. Pro People Search reports contain vital information, such as the person’s home address, phone number, and prior addresses. In addition, you can use their birthdate to verify you’ve found your dad.

Locating and reviewing your dad’s social media accounts is a good idea for several reasons. He may have another family you haven’t met, alerting you to the fact you have half-siblings. His other family members may not know about you, which means contacting your father could be complicated. You could decide to take steps to ensure you approach him alone when he’s leaving work or engaged in a recreational activity. Planning an appropriate reunion venue may help minimize complications the first time you see your father after an estrangement.

Hire an attorney.

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Suppose you have grounds for legal action against your father. For example, your mom may have won a child custody case and been your legal custodial parent. In that case, there’s a good chance there was a child support order in place, and your noncustodial parent was required to make child support payments. You may hire a child support attorney to pursue a child support case if your priority is seeking wage garnishment for unpaid child support.

It’s a good idea to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney before meeting with your father so you can decide how to approach the situation. You may not realize you have grounds to pursue the amount of child support owed. Indiana has a statute of limitations for collecting child support obligations once the child reaches the age of majority. Still, most other states have no statute of limitations, which means your noncustodial parent is responsible for paying the child support amount determined in the court order.

Make sure you and your family are emotionally prepared for your reunion.

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See a mental health professional prepare for your reunion. A therapist can help you process your emotions and evaluate your goals. For example, perhaps you want to build a relationship with your dad, or you may want them to explain their absence. Talking to a therapist can help you anticipate potential responses and consider dealing with your father’s response to a reunion.

Suppose you have a family. You should talk to your spouse and children about your estranged father and tell them you hope to reconnect with him. They should be aware of your actions because reuniting with your dad would mean they’d also gain a new family member.

Reuniting with your estranged father could help you rebuild a relationship with an absent parent. However, you may also have legal matters to address. Therefore, it’s a good idea to do some background research, talk to an attorney, and see a therapist before your reunion to ensure you’re prepared.

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