I regularly get questions from women (and some men) who think that their ex-spouse may be collecting disability benefits, but who will not cooperate when it comes to requesting auxiliary benefits for the non-custodial parent’s minor child or children.
Information about Social Security claims is confidential and SSA will not release it. How then do you find out if your ex-spouse is collecting benefits, his current address or even his Social Security number?
One way to gather this information is to use the discovery rules of the jurisdiction that issued the child support order. Litigants in state court (divorce) litigation can use the rules of discovery that apply in every state. Under these rules, you can ask the other party (you “ex”) questions (called interrogatories) and you can demand that he produce documents (requests for production of documents).
State court judges enforce discovery requests using the power of contempt – in other words, your ex can be incarcerated if he does not cooperate.
While using discovery to gather information about your ex-spouse is effective, it can also be expensive and may require the assistance of a private lawyer. However, many family law courts have web sites with sample interrogatories and requests for production of documents so, in theory at least, you can engage in discovery on your own.
Another way to gather information about your ex-spouse is to use private investigation tools readily available on the Internet. I did a quick Google search and ran across people finder sites like Publicpeoplefinder.com or iinfosearch.com, which charge $100 or less. I have no personal experience with these particular companies and, as always when buying something online, buyer beware.