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Traveling Abroad with Child Support Arrears

By: Amy Rebecca Johnson

You are planning a trip abroad with your spouse. Maybe it’s a cruise to the Bahamas. Maybe you’re finally going to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Maybe a friend is getting married in Mexico. Your passport photos have been taken; the passport application has been painstakingly filled out and mailed to the passport office; your spouse’s new passport arrives in the mail; but you receive a rejection letter from the government. You can’t get a passport because you owe back child support. Does this mean your spouse will be traveling without you?

If the child support is being collected through the state and you owe more than $2,500 in child support, but do not have an approved arrearage payment plan, the passport application will be denied, which makes travel to that exotic destination impossible.

The Passport Denial Program is designed to help states enforce delinquent child support obligations. The Passport Denial Program further authorizes the State Department to deny, revoke, or limit passports for parents who owe more than $5,000 in child support.

If you are proactive and act in time, you may be able to prevent the rejection of your passport application. The easiest thing to do is not get behind on child support, but when circumstances arise that cause the issue, you should call an attorney as soon as possible. You may be eligible for an approved payment plan for your arrearage to rectify the problem. If the payment plan has been approved by the court or the state and you’ve made regular payments, you may be eligible to have your name removed from the passport denial list.

Don’t be stuck at home while your spouse travels. Stay current on your child support, and if you are more than $2,500 in arrears, seek advice of legal counsel to apply for an approved payment plan. The attorneys at Paule, Camazine and Blumenthal can help you see the world.


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