If I Owe Child Support, Can I Get a Passport?
If you live in Las Vegas or Henderson, not only do you live in one of the top tourist destinations in the world, but you have direct access to McCarran International Airport, which has some of the biggest airlines traveling into and out of it daily, such as Alaska Airlines, Delta, American Airlines, Air Canada, AeroMexico, Korean Air, Southwest, KLM, and many others.
No matter where you live in Las Vegas, McCarran is probably no more than a 20-minute drive from your home, which is great, but if you owe past-due child support, you may not be able to hop on any of those international flights. Why is this? It’s because of the Passport Denial Program, which impacts noncustodial parents who are in arrears in child support.
What Is the Passport Denial Program?
It can be difficult for child support collection agencies to collect past-due child support from non-custodial parents, especially if they work under the table, are voluntarily unemployed, or if they are earning a very low income.
According to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, “The average amount owed among noncustodial parents with child support debt is more than $21,000.” Sometimes, it’s not because the parents can’t afford it, but they choose not to pay it. “The Passport Denial Program provides an effective tool to collect past-due support from delinquent parents who want to travel outside of the United States – for vacations, work, or any other reason.”
So, how much do you have to owe in child support arrears before your U.S. passport can be denied? Whether you live in Nevada, California, New York, or any other state for that matter, the threshold is the same.
Once a noncustodial parent owes $2,500 or more in child support, they are not eligible for a U.S. passport. If you owe more than $2,500 in child support and you wish to travel abroad, we can help determine what needs to be done to resolve the situation once and for all.
Please be aware that if you have fallen too far behind on your child support payments, other enforcement measures can be taken against you, such as various license suspensions, bank levies, property liens, tax refund intercepts, credit reporting, etc. A U.S. passport denial is only one of the actions that can be taken against you.
If you cannot afford your current child support payments and your circumstances have changed since the existing order was made, you may qualify for a downward modification. To get the professional legal assistance you need, contact Leavitt Firm today.