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Paying off child support debts and passport renewal

Dallas, TX |

My husband owes back child support due to temp loss of his job a few years ago. He was, however, paying the support off his unemployment. He was taken to court in 2007 and ordered to pay $60 000 fine for the support he underpaid during his unemployment. He has been paying his debt AND current support without any delays, which is now 50% of his income. Paying it off will take over 10-15 years. He also still owes medical, kids are on his med. insurance. The question is: is there any chance for him to renew his passport? My parents live overseas and are old, they invited us for a visit, ready to pay for it. I know states have zero tolerance to debts over $2500. Has anybody ever actually succeeded in proving that debts are being paid off and have they been given a passport?

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Attorney answers 1


Your best bet is to contact the local agency which handles the child support case. Make sure you have your case number handy. Generally, you will end up speaking to a representative agent and not an attorney. In most locations, only the area attorney associated with that agency can make decisions about whether or not a passport ban is lifted. Normally, full payment of back support is required to get a passport reinstated but occasionally exceptions are made. The reason passports are frozen/revoked is to keep the person who is behind from leaving the country and trying to avoid the obligation. Take heart, see what ground you can gain with the child support attorney. If you don't already have an employer deduction order which automatically drafts payments on the case out of a paycheck before its delivered to you, offering to allow the agency to put one in place may be helpful in getting them to reach a compromise with you.

Good luck,