Falling behind on the child support payments that one owes can bring on a number of different challenges, from those which are emotional (stress or depression) to the threat of being arrested and judgment from friends, family members and others in the community. However, some people are surprised to learn that missing child support payments can get in the way of other aspects of life, such as travel. In fact, your passport eligibility may be affected by unpaid child support, so it is important to keep this in mind if you plan on traveling and are currently facing problems related to child support.
The U.S. Department of State says that parents who owe at least $2,500 worth of back child support cannot get a U.S. passport. The Department encourages parents who have fallen behind on their payments to make arrangements to get caught up in order for their passport application to be processed as normal, but it can take a number of weeks for a person's name to be cleared. For some people, such as those who have a business meeting on a particular date or a key event such as a wedding, these delays could be disastrous.
If you anticipate that you will owe more than $2,500 in back child support, or you are already in this position, it is crucial to look at your options. For example, child support order modification may be possible for some people who have experienced significant life changes due to losing their job or some other crisis.