Actually, unclaimed child support may be a big pot.
It's hard to quantify because unclaimed child support is managed at the state level in some places and at the county level in others, but, by some accounts, there may be as much as $750 million out there, waiting for American children.
Tami Schwarz of Ohio got more than $31,821 in uncollected child support from her ex-husband.
You could too.
The method is the same as finding any other unclaimed money.
Go to the FREE website www.unclaimed.org (NOTE: that is a .org website, NOT a .com site. If you type in .com, you will be taken to a paying site and it is never necessary to pay a fee or a finder to locate unclaimed money.)
Click on the state where your children live and/or where your divorce settlement or child support settlement was finalized.
Type in your own name, as the custodial parent. If that fails, try your children's names. Still no luck? If the other parent lives in yet another state, click on that state and search there.
There's also another nifty trick you can try.
She suggests typing the words "child support" in the "last name" box on each state's search site.
Government records can be chaotic, and that may well pull up a list of hundreds or even thousands of people owed child support. You can then scan the list for your name and your kids' names.
You should know about one last wrinkle that could be the difference between finding the unclaimed child support you are owed, or letting it languish.
Sometimes localities are not required to turn over unclaimed child support to the state's main unclaimed property office for a couple of years.
In that case, it's a good idea to do a simple Web search using the name of the state and the term "unclaimed child support."
Pitman also recommends searching the terms "undistributed child support," and "undistributable child support."
That search will often bring up county or state agencies that are holding unclaimed child support.
One CAUTION: this kind of search may well pull up websites that charge a fee to search for unclaimed money. Again, you never have to pay a fee or a finder for assistance, because it is so easy to search yourself, for free.
We did, and came up with the following county and state unclaimed child support sites. There may be a similar site for your locality.
Florida: Click HERE to visit the site.
Illinois, Cook County: Click HERE to visit the site.
Illinois, Will County: Click HERE to visit the site.
Indiana, Elkhart County: Click HERE to visit the site.
Michigan: Click HERE to visit the site.
Ohio, Franklin County: Click HERE to visit the site.
Ohio, Summit County: Click HERE to visit the site.
Oregon: Click HERE to visit the site.
South Carolina: Click HERE to visit the site.
South Carolina, Spartanburg, County: Click HERE to visit the site.
Wisconsin: Click HERE to visit the site.