If you owe child support, or expect to make payments in the near future due to your divorce, it is important to understand the various consequences associated with falling behind on payments. For example, you could have your wages garnished and even face time behind bars.
Moreover, unpaid child support can affect your passport privileges. It is important to recognize when back child support prevents you from successfully applying for a U.S. passport and take steps to get caught up if you have fallen behind.
Unpaid child support and your passport application
According to the Administration for Children and Families, unpaid child support prevents non-custodial parents from receiving or using their U.S. passport if they owe more than $2,500 in back support. According to the ACF, parents who owe more than $2,500 in unpaid child support have their names placed on a list that prevents them from receiving a passport after submitting an application.
In order to restore passport privileges, parents who owe back support must pay off their balance and some states allow partial payments or let parents set up a payment plan.
Back child support and passport revocation
Aside from denying applications, non-custodial parents who owe back support can have their passports revoked. For example, if a parent who owes over $2,500 in back support surrenders their passport to an agent for service, such as changing their name, adding pages or repairing a damaged passport, the State Department revokes the passport.
If you worry about losing passport privileges over child support, review all of your options, from arranging a payment plan to modifying your child support order.