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Child support arrears and passport privileges

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2023 | Divorce

Divorce can raise a number of concerns with respect to children, from custody decisions to the emotional impact of parents parting ways. It is critical for parents to prioritize their child’s best interests during and after divorce. Additionally, parents can face challenges in the months and years following their divorce. For example, a non-custodial parent could lose their passport privileges if they do not pay child support on time.

In some instances, the loss of a passport has an especially damaging impact on a non-custodial parent. For example, it could interfere with a critical business trip or special family event.

Losing passport privileges over child support

The Office of Child Support Services covers the Passport Denial Program, which denies and revokes passports when parents owe $2,500 or more in child support arrears. Once a parent reaches this threshold, the child support agency in their state informs the federal government, which refuses to process their passport application.

Aside from denying passports, the government also revokes passports belonging to parents who have over $2,500 in back support.

Addressing child support challenges

Parents who owe child support should go over strategies to avoid falling behind on child support if they encounter financial problems. For example, if a parent loses his or her job and cannot pay child support on time, or they worry about their ability to stay current in the wake of a health crisis, they might have the opportunity to modify their child support order to protect their passport privileges and avoid other penalties.