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Unpaid child support and passport eligibility

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2021 | Family Law |

Whether you need to travel overseas for work, you have planned a vacation for years or you want to attend a family member’s wedding in a different country, it is important to make sure that you stay current on child support if you have to make payments. Some parents do not realize that unpaid child support could affect their passport privileges, preventing them from leaving the country.

From the loss of a job to a medical crisis, there are various reasons why some parents struggle to pay child support. Make sure you go over your options if you worry about losing the ability to stay current.

When does back child support affect passport privileges?

The U.S. Department of State reports that when a parent owes at least $2,500 worth of back child support, they lose their passport privileges. In addition to losing the ability to successfully apply for a passport, the government also revokes passports belonging to parents who become delinquent on child support payments.

How can parents owing back child support get a passport?

If you have lost the ability to obtain a passport because of unpaid child support, the Department of State outlines steps that you can take to restore your passport privileges. If possible, you can pay arrears, after which the agency in your state will report your arrangements in order to have your name cleared. However, you should note that it can take three weeks for the government to clear your name.

In addition to getting caught up on back support, parents should also review whether they can modify their child support order if they have experienced a significant change in their financial circumstances.