Failure to Pay Child Support May Restrict Access to Passport and International Travel
A court order to pay child support continues until the minor child turns 18 — or until 21 if in college…and even to age 23 if the support order is out of Washington State. Getting behind on payments may have unanticipated consequences.
Federal regulation 22 C.F.R. 51.60(a)(2) states that anyone with $2,500.00 due in child support payments cannot be issued a new passport. The Department of State has produced a flow chart. This flow chart seems to indicate that making payment arrangements is sufficient to obtain a passport. This is likely not the case. Until the amount owing is less than $ 2,500, and your home state updates its report to the Office of Health and Human Services, the passport office will not issue a passport.
One client landed a lucrative modeling job in Australia. When the modeling company applied for an expedited processing passport, the government declined to issue the passport because the father owed $10,000 in back support. Fortunately, we negotiated a satisfaction of judgment for all the arrearage, based on an agreement that the modeling agency would pay the mother all the back child support after the international photo shoot.
C.F.R. 51.70(b) bars administrative review of the denial based on failure to pay child support.
Make sure to obtain and to address the back child support and file a Satisfaction of Judgment with the court before purchasing tickets or paying for international travel.