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Does unpaid child support affect international travel?

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2023 | Family Law

Parents who have a hard time staying current on child support or already owe arrears should carefully examine a number of issues. In addition to looking into payment options as well as the possibility of reducing the amount owed each month through modification, it is important for non-custodial parents to understand the penalties that can arise due to unpaid child support. For example, some do not realize that failing to pay support could affect their plans to head overseas.

When a parent owes a certain amount of back child support, they could lose their passport privileges.

U.S. passports and unpaid child support

According to the U.S. Department of State, a parent who owes more than $2,500 in back child support loses his or her eligibility to get a passport. Once a parent owes arrears of at least $2,500, the state informs the federal government, which will not process their passport application until the state clears their name.

Parents can restore their passport privileges by making suitable payment arrangements with their state’s child support agency.

The consequences of passport denial due to child support

When a parent loses their passport privileges because of back support, they might have to miss a special family event, such as a wedding, or a crucial business trip. The inability to secure a passport could also ruin a vacation that one has spent a considerable amount of time, money and energy planning.

It can take up to three weeks for parents to regain their passport privileges after paying arrears, which highlights the importance of addressing unpaid child support promptly.