How can a military spouse be located?

First of all, he or she must know his or her Social Security number. That is essential; it is the number that identifies him or her throughout the service. He or she probably knows it anyway since they are married. If there is a problem with finding it, the number is often included on loan applications and is always on an income tax return.

A local Army recruiter is often able to track down service members. The recruiter who enlisted the spouse may know his or her location, or the recruiter may be able to find it without too much trouble.

A spouse who knows his or her partner’s last assignment can try to track them. Each military base has an office called the base (or post, in the case of the Army) locator. It is the duty of this office to be able to locate a service member.

Actually, the base locator office would be the simplest option, since it is that office’s duty to locate service members.

If the base locator office fails, the former commanding officer may know a spouse’s new assignment. Base or post commanding officers are extremely busy, and that the location of a spouse, while serious to a spouse seeking to end a marriage, is probably not the most serious issue facing the officer on any given day.

Suppose a women cannot wait to use the base locator office to find her husband because she needs money for child support soon.

If there are children involved, the Federal Parent Locator Service will be able to assist a civilian who is up against time pressures. The Locator Service has the resources to track down absent fathers and mothers. In addition, all states now have public agencies that enforce child support orders for those who request assistance. These agencies are known as Title IV-D (pronounced “four dee”) agencies, after the section of the law that added them.

The federal government, through the Child Support Enforcement Amendments of 1984, requires states receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) funds – that is, all of them – to offer a parent-locator and child support service to all custodial parents, whether the custodial parents receive AFDC benefits or not. This means a spouse need not be on welfare to use the state’s agency.