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Owe Child Support? You May Not Get a U.S. Passport

Child support has always been a hot topic, but in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more so as millions of Americans are out of work. If you’re a non-custodial parent who pays child support and you’ve never fallen behind before, you could be in for a real shocker. There are many adverse consequences of skipping child support payments and unlike mortgage lenders and credit card companies that are giving people breaks, parents are not experiencing such leniency when it comes to child support.

Just some of the consequences of not paying child support include wage garnishment, bank account seizures, real estate liens, driver’s license suspensions, professional license suspensions, hunting and fishing license suspensions, tax refund intercept, the denial of a U.S. passport, and the reduction or elimination of the economic stimulus payment. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to discuss the denial of U.S. passports due to child support arrears.

U.S. Passport Denials for Child Support

Traveling abroad is an American way of life. Our clients travel for their honeymoons, for vacation, and for work. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that if they owe $2,500 or more in child support that their passport application will be denied. This can put a wrench on travel plans, whether it’s for business, pleasure, schooling, or volunteering.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to collect past-due child support, especially when those amounts reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. The average amount owed among noncustodial parents with child support debt is more than $21,000. In some instances, it isn’t because these parents can’t pay, but because they choose not to pay. The Passport Denial Program provides an effective tool to collect past-due support from delinquent parents who want to travel outside of the United States — for vacation, work, or any other reason,” according to the Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Take Action Today

If you owe back child support, our advice is to be proactive and contact our office right away. We’d be happy to answer your questions and explain your legal options. The sooner you reach out to our firm, the sooner you can gain peace of mind.

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