<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=467191071302414&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Child Support Payment Calculator

Get Your Estimate

Is Divorce The Right Option For You?

Take The Quiz

Protect Your Assets and Net Worth During Divorce

Download The Guide

Get a 30–Minute, Free Consultation

You will walk away with an idea of what choices you can make and what each different path would look like – whether or not you wish to pursue any action now.

Contact Us

U.S. Passport Denials for Past-Due Child Support

Many parents enjoy traveling, especially when doing so involves exploring a new country or traveling overseas. Parents may want to travel with their children for vacation, to visit family out of the country, or to introduce their children to new cultures. Of course, to travel to outside of the United States, each parent and child must apply for and obtain a passport.

Applying for a passport is typically simple and requires a person to fill out a form, provide proof of citizenship, take a current passport photo, and pay a passport fee. However, if you are a parent that has an unpaid child support balance, also known as child support arrears, then you could be at risk of having your passport application denied or your current passport canceled. 

How Can Past Due Child Support Affect my Passport?

According to United States State Department, Bureau of Consular Affairs, if you owe $2,500 or more in unpaid child support, then you are not eligible to receive or renew a United States passport. 


Once your unpaid child support balance exceeds $2,500, the Office of Child Support Services forwards your name to be put on the Passport Denial List with the U.S. State Department. You will not be able to receive or renew a passport until the entirety of your unpaid child support balance is paid off. 

It is important to note that you will not only be denied a passport when initially applying for a passport or trying to renew it. In fact, the State Department can also revoke a current passport if you meet the unpaid child support threshold.

For example, if you have $2,500 or more in child support arrears owed, have a current passport, and need to take it in to add additional travel pages, update your passport photo, or change your name then your current passport can be revoked by the passport agency or embassy representative assisting you. 

Having Trouble Paying Child Support? Steps You Can Take to Avoid a Passport Denial

Since past due child support can significantly affect your ability to apply for, own, or renew a passport it is important to take steps to prevent yourself from accruing child support arrears by remaining current with your monthly child support payments. 


One way to remain current on your child support payments is to make sure that your child support obligation is indicative of your current gross monthly income. Sometimes unexpected events can occur that affect your current income like losing your job or an unforeseen injury or illness. If you find yourself making less than what you were previously making, or making no money at all, you can file a request with the court for a child support modification.

Filing for a child support modification will allow you to make a request to the court to recalculate support using your current income rather than the monthly amount you were making when the initial child support order was made. If your child support obligation is recalculated using your new lower monthly income, the support payments will be more affordable making it easier to remain current each month. 

Another way to remain current on your child support obligation, and continue to avoid child support arrears, is to opt for an Income Withholding Order, which is a court order that notifies your employer to deduct your child support obligation amount from your paychecks and notifies your employer of where to send the money.

Opting for an Income Withholding Order prevents you from accruing a past due child support balance by ensuring that your monthly child support payments are made on time, each month, without requiring any additional work on your part. In addition, it helps prevent against false claims that payments were not actually made.


If you are fond of traveling out of the county, or overseas, it is important that you take the necessary steps, mentioned above, to remain current on your child support obligation so that you do not run the risk of being denied a passport. 

Need Help? Consult an Experienced Family Law Attorney:

As mentioned, the key to keeping your passport is to remain current on your child support obligation and make sure that your monthly payments are indicative of your current gross monthly income. If you have concerns regarding your child support matter or child support payments, please contact Cage & Miles to schedule a free 30-minute consultation and speak to one of our experienced and personable attorneys today.

New call-to-action