Whether you are preparing to move forward with a divorce, find yourself in the middle of ending your marriage or have already completed the process, it is critical to understand your rights and options if you have to pay child support or expect to owe payments. Failing to pay support could disrupt many aspects of your life, such as your ability to drive and your freedom, reputation and finances. In addition, you could lose your passport due to back child support.
Without a passport, you could face additional hurdles, especially if you have to travel for business purposes or need to attend a wedding or another important family event in another country.
Unpaid child support and U.S. passport eligibility
The Department of State published information on how unpaid child support can affect passports. According to their site, those who owe $2,500 or more in back child support lose eligibility for a U.S. passport. Therefore, if you submit an application, the government will reject your request for a passport if you owe unpaid child support in excess of this amount.
You should also keep in mind that parents can face passport revocation if they fall behind on child support.
Paying back child support to restore passport eligibility
If you want to restore your eligibility to receive a U.S. passport, the State Department says you should pay arrears to the enforcement agency in your state. They will process your passport application once the state’s enforcement agency reports that you have made suitable arrangements, but it can take three weeks for the government to take your name off their list.
Whether you want to modify your child support order or understand your payment options, it is pivotal to address child support matters correctly.