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Can you get a passport if you owe child support?

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2023 | Blog, Divorce

Passports are essential documents that let people travel internationally. However, in certain cases, parents can have their passports suspended or denied due to unresolved child support issues.

Non-custodial parents should understand when back child support can lead to passport suspension and how this could affect their lives.

Passport suspension and denial

According to the Department of State, the U.S. government has the authority to suspend or deny passports to those who owe more than $2,500 in back child support. This decision aims to encourage parents to fulfill their financial responsibilities towards their children.

Parents who want to restore their passport privileges must make payment arrangements first. Afterward, the government processes their passport application. Parents should note that this can take a few weeks.

The impact of passport suspension

Passport suspension due to back child support can have serious consequences. First, it stops people from traveling overseas, limiting their personal and professional opportunities. It can also affect parents who live abroad. Without a passport, parents may become unable to return to the United States until settling their child support obligations. Additionally, passport suspension can damage one’s reputation. After all, it shows a failure to meet financial responsibilities towards their child.

By understanding the consequences of failing to pay child support, non-custodial parents owing support can take the necessary steps to resolve their obligations and prevent passport suspension. For some parents, a payment plan can address child support challenges. Also, modifying a child support order could help a parent avoid passport suspension or denial.