Domestic violence creates horrifying scenarios in which a person may, for their own safety, want to keep their location a secret from the public eye, primarily for fear of meeting their abuser. In these situations, other legal functions that require interaction between two former spouses or parents can become complicated, as contact is no longer directly present. In particular, collecting child support, which may be necessary for one parent in order to maintain financial stability, can turn into a doubtful prospect. However, the law in many jurisdictions has several programs available to help these individuals.
Although the court often requires an address in order to verify someone’s location, those hiding from abusive individuals, namely the type of abusers who would be prone to breaking a restraining order, may be living at a temporary shelter and would prefer to keep their address away from publicly attainable records. There are a few options for these people, as the law recognizes that public information may become sensitive when physical threats are present.
One option is for people living in protective shelters to file for the court to impound their address, as it is known. This legal action creates special protections and limited access to information that may be too sensitive for the public to reach. By impounding an address, support issues in court can still be worked out in a legitimate fashion without endangering a hidden individual.
In addition to this concern, some people may not want to share an address, but still would like to collect their support funds. The court allows these people, oftentimes, to file for wage garnishment or to have collection run through a government agency before reaching the recipient of support. If the funds are either directly collected out of a paycheck or are worked through a middleman system, the result can be a significant separation between abusers and victims.
For more information about an abused spouse or child’s rights in terms of protecting their secrecy, contact a family law attorney.