Everyone is aware that failing to pay child support is followed by a list of consequences, but just how far does this list of consequences extend? In recent years, the Child Support Enforcement Program (CSE) has added new penalties to the list in order to encourage parents to catch up on unpaid child support. One of these recently added penalties includes your privilege to travel internationally.
The Child Support Enforcement Program is a collaborative program between the federal and state government that assists children and their families with the collection and enforcement of child support awards. As part of this program, once a custodial parent requests assistance, the CSE begins to monitor and enforce all payments. As a noncustodial parent falls behind in their payments, consequences arise. Once you become more than $2,500 behind in child support, the CSE notifies the U.S. Department of State, who then enrolls you in the Passport Denial Program. Beginning in 1997, once you are enrolled into this denial program, any issuance or renewal of a passport will be denied, and any passport you are currently in the possession of will be revoked.
If you are behind by more than $2,500 in your child support payments and find yourself enrolled in the Passport Denial Program, you are not stuck. To remove these restrictions and regain eligibility, you must either pay all past due payments or agree to an acceptable payments arrangement. These payments must be arranged with the appropriate state child support enforcement agency - if you owe child support in multiple states, you must complete your payments in each state before moving forward with the removal process. Once all payments have been made or you are enrolled in a payment plan, the CSE will notify the Passport Denial Program, who will then remove your name from their national child support arrearage list. This may take up to 2-3 weeks. Once your name has been removed, you must then contact the National Passport Information Center in order for the continuation of your passport application, or to recover your current passport.