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Back child support and your passport

If you are preparing to get a divorce and you have kids, it is important to understand what could lie ahead if you expect to owe child support. If you are already required to pay child support, it is important to stay current and understand your options if you worry about your ability to make payments on time.

Failing to pay child support can result in various enforcement actions, such as losing your license and facing the threat of arrest. In fact, you can also lose your passport privileges if you fall behind on child support.

When does unpaid child support affect your passport?

According to the U.S. Department of State, those who have more than $2,500 in back child support cannot obtain a U.S. passport. Moreover, the government also revokes passports when parents owe this much back child support. If you have already fallen behind on child support and owe more than $2,500 in unpaid support, the Department of State requires you to pay arrears to the enforcement agency in your state before you apply for a passport.

You should understand that it can take a few weeks for you to regain passport eligibility after making payment arrangements.

How can you avoid falling behind on child support?

If you worry about your ability to make child support payments, go over all of your options. Creating a payment plan could help you stay current and some parents benefit from child support order modification. If you can, try to save money to prepare for future financial challenges and make your child support obligations a top priority.

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