When parents fall behind on their child support obligations, a number of consequences may lie ahead, some of which they may not even realize. Aside from arrest and costly financial penalties, parents with back child support may not have the ability to obtain or renew their passport. In Lee County, Florida, it is crucial for non-custodial parents who owe child support to do everything they can to avoid these consequences, such as modifying their child support order to make payments more manageable.
According to the Administration for Children & Families, non-custodial parents who owe over $2,500 worth of back child support are placed in the Passport Denial Program, which prevents them from applying for or using a passport. Furthermore, parents who make payments and have their arrearages fall under the $2,500 mark are not removed from the program right away.
The Department of State informs non-custodial parents who have fallen behind on their child support to make payment arrangements in the state where their child support is owed prior to applying for a passport. Even once arrangements are made, it could take a few weeks until Passports Services is allowed to process a non-custodial parent's passport application.
From spending time with family members who live overseas to tourism and business-related travel, there are many reasons why people need to apply for passports. Parents who are unable to fulfill their child support responsibilities may not have the ability to leave the U.S., which is another reason staying current on child support is so important.