If you owe child support, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the consequences you could face for falling behind and do everything you can to stay current. Some non-custodial parents owing support do not realize the wide range of penalties that can come up when child support is not paid, and back child support could even affect your passport (or your ability to receive a U.S. passport).
Losing passport privileges could disrupt your plans and lead to serious challenges, such as the inability to head overseas for an important business trip.
Unpaid child support and the loss of passport privileges
The Office of Child Support Enforcement covers passport denial and revocation as a result of unpaid child support. If you try to apply for a U.S. passport and you have back child support exceeding $2,500, the Department of State will reject your application. Furthermore, if you have to add pages, change your name or repair a damaged passport, the State Department will revoke your current passport if you have back child support that exceeds this threshold.
Addressing back child support and passport problems
If you currently owe unpaid child support, explore all options and try to get caught up. Your state could let you set up a payment plan or ask for the full payment of back child support. After satisfying these obligations, the government will move forward with your passport application.
In addition, you could avoid losing your passport and other serious consequences by modifying your child support order if you have recently experienced major financial changes that make it difficult to stay current on your support order.