If you want or need a new passport to travel abroad, you had better be current on your child support. The State Department will now deny a passport to any non-custodial parent owing $2,500 or more in court-ordered child support.
As Janet Langjahr points out, the new passport rules while implemented as a matter of national security, has the effect of benefiting children owed child support.
The Governor of Connecticut reported that this policy has had a tremendous effect on child support collections:
Since January 2007, when the new federal passport rules were announced, Connecticut has collected nearly $180,000 from 44 non-custodial parents who were notified that their passport privileges were in jeopardy — a significant jump in the normal collection rate from passport denial.”The rest of the country is seeing a similar effect. In the first six months of 2007, about $22.5 million in child support was collected nationwide through the federal Passport Denial Program. It took all of 2006 to collect about that much through passport denials.
This is an added tool in the child support collection arsenal. In New York, parents who have defaulted in making child support payments faced the loss of their driver’s and professional licenses. Now, if you fail to pay support, not only will your professional license be suspended and your driving privileges revoked, you will not even be able to go vacation.