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How to get your Passport with child support arears?

#1 Trent Milena

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 12:01 AM

Can you still get your passport even if you owe rears on child support? I owe 10,000 in rears over a 7 year period, caused of lay offs and other issues, not because I didn't want to pay, but because I couldn't pay due to no income, but payment arrangements have been made and modified and are being deducted out of my check for a while. The united States passport agency said as long as payment arrangements are made I can get my name off the HHS electronic list for passport denial. does that mean I have to pay it off or just All I want to know if worse come to worse and I get denied for getting my passport...is there other ways on getting my passport? Maybe I got to show proof that I'm not fleeing the country or something. Can anyone shine a little light on all this?
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#2 Gary and Alla

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 12:11 AM

Pay your child support. I believe there is an amount it must be paid down to and the amount is $2500 or thereabouts.

Incidently, the amount of child support owed can be deducted from any income claimed for an affidavit of support.

Edited by Gary and Alla, 28 October 2010 - 12:12 AM.

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#3 pushbrk

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 12:36 AM

Pay your child support. I believe there is an amount it must be paid down to and the amount is $2500 or thereabouts.

Incidently, the amount of child support owed can be deducted from any income claimed for an affidavit of support.


It's usually about that amount but varies by State. I think California is as low as $1,000. The law that allows revoking or holding of passports in these cases doesn't care "why".
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#4 NigeriaorBust

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 05:55 AM

One of the thought processes behind the law is that if you have the spare money to travel that money should have been applied to catching up on your child support.
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#5 JimVaPhuong

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:34 AM

One of the thought processes behind the law is that if you have the spare money to travel that money should have been applied to catching up on your child support.


I think the problem with this rationale is that the law also prevents the delinquent parent from traveling internationally for business when their employer is picking up the tab.

I think a bigger motive is that they don't want the delinquent parent to leave the US in order to evade the debt.

California has done some abundantly stupid things over the years in implementing their support enforcement laws. The state attorney general's office basically classifies the delinquent parent as a wanted criminal in order to stop Department of State from issuing a passport, but they also prevent the delinquent parent from obtaining or renewing any professional licenses or obtaining a deed to property, which often prevents the delinquent parent from getting the money they need to repay the debt. Local district attorney's offices are responsible for debt enforcement, but they are allowed to refer the debt to the state's Franchise Tax Board for collection, which usually results in onerous wage garnishments. After that, the district attorney's office will refuse to work with the delinquent parent to resolve the collection action, stating that the FTB is now handling it. At the same time, the FTB tells the delinquent parent that they have to talk to the referring district attorney's office to stop the collection action. This leaves the delinquent parent with no choice but to allow the FTB to garnish a massive chunk of their disposable income, to hell with the parent's dependents who also rely on that income, or sue the district attorney's office at considerable expense.

They get even worse when they are enforcing a support order issued in another state using the federal URESA act. Instead of simply collecting the arrears from the delinquent parent, they take the parent to court and readjudicate the support order using California law, which often results in ballooning the amount of the arrears. They also begin adding interest to the debt, as well as their own collection fee. I've known parents who were stuck with wage garnishments for years after the other state considered the debt paid in full. Every time California sent a payment to the other state, the other state would send a refund to the parent in California. In the meantime, the parent still couldn't get a passport or professional license.

A note to parents: Don't move to California if you owe child support arrears. If you come to California and fall behind in your support payments, leave the state. You'll fair better somewhere else. California considers a parent with a support order to be a potential source of revenue for the state.
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#6 pushbrk

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 11:40 AM

I think the problem with this rationale is that the law also prevents the delinquent parent from traveling internationally for business when their employer is picking up the tab.

I think a bigger motive is that they don't want the delinquent parent to leave the US in order to evade the debt.


Yes, that's the primary justification used to pass the law. You get around it by paying the back child support and no other way. Agree with the law or not, it's the law. Makes me glad I didn't need to travel internationally under this law during the short time long ago that I too was behind as my sales territory at the time was the whole world.
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#7 Tahoma

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 12:50 PM

You might be allowed to travel abroad to attend the funeral of a family member, including the funeral of a relative through marriage. I don't know anything about the application process for this type of emergency passport, but I know of someone who did this recently. He was behind on his child support payments (in the State of Washington, if that makes any difference) and there was a hold on his passport, yet he was allowed to travel abroad to attend his mother-in-law's funeral.

I realize the above example may not fit the OP's situation. However, the point is that there are exceptions to the rule, and where there is one exception, there may be another exception.
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#8 NigeriaorBust

NigeriaorBust

    igwe and lolo



Posted 28 October 2010 - 02:12 PM

If the person has a normal employer then they would also have a direct withholding on their paycheck so the child support would be caught up quickly. If you can locate the bum in a real job you can get everything right from the employer. I think the bum gets about 200 a week to live on and the rest goes to the back child support.

I think the problem with this rationale is that the law also prevents the delinquent parent from traveling internationally for business when their employer is picking up the tab.

I think a bigger motive is that they don't want the delinquent parent to leave the US in order to evade the debt.

California has done some abundantly stupid things over the years in implementing their support enforcement laws. The state attorney general's office basically classifies the delinquent parent as a wanted criminal in order to stop Department of State from issuing a passport, but they also prevent the delinquent parent from obtaining or renewing any professional licenses or obtaining a deed to property, which often prevents the delinquent parent from getting the money they need to repay the debt. Local district attorney's offices are responsible for debt enforcement, but they are allowed to refer the debt to the state's Franchise Tax Board for collection, which usually results in onerous wage garnishments. After that, the district attorney's office will refuse to work with the delinquent parent to resolve the collection action, stating that the FTB is now handling it. At the same time, the FTB tells the delinquent parent that they have to talk to the referring district attorney's office to stop the collection action. This leaves the delinquent parent with no choice but to allow the FTB to garnish a massive chunk of their disposable income, to hell with the parent's dependents who also rely on that income, or sue the district attorney's office at considerable expense.

They get even worse when they are enforcing a support order issued in another state using the federal URESA act. Instead of simply collecting the arrears from the delinquent parent, they take the parent to court and readjudicate the support order using California law, which often results in ballooning the amount of the arrears. They also begin adding interest to the debt, as well as their own collection fee. I've known parents who were stuck with wage garnishments for years after the other state considered the debt paid in full. Every time California sent a payment to the other state, the other state would send a refund to the parent in California. In the meantime, the parent still couldn't get a passport or professional license.

A note to parents: Don't move to California if you owe child support arrears. If you come to California and fall behind in your support payments, leave the state. You'll fair better somewhere else. California considers a parent with a support order to be a potential source of revenue for the state.


  • 0

This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.


#9 Kathryn41

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 06:05 PM

Please stop the judgmental comments. Without knowing the circumstances that lead to a parent being in arrears for child support, it is unfair to paint them all with the same negative brush. Such comments add nothing constructive to the discussion.
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#10 Trent Milena

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 10:13 PM

I totally agree about the negative judgments...if you have read my whole story it clearly states that the reason why I was in arears is caused of layoffs and other issues like not have work for a short period of time through out the 7 year period, also...I work construction so that's where the no work come from. Having negativity in the situation does not resolve nothing. Oh, I'm not a BUM, nor a dead beat dad. I've been around my kids the whole time since they were born. The only thing I was trying to figure out was if I can get my passport, even though I owe on arears, cause me and Milena from Colombia have been talking for about 5 months every single day since the first day we talked, and I got a stack of phone cards. We totally fell in love with each other and can't wait to meet. But the darn government is making it very frustrating. Thanks for all of you for replying and especially the ones with the positive feed back. Sooo...here goes my question again. Is it possible to get my passport even though I'm paying on my arears?
  • 1

#11 JimVaPhuong

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    Does this 嫪 d跬 make me look fat?



Posted 28 October 2010 - 10:13 PM

If the person has a normal employer then they would also have a direct withholding on their paycheck so the child support would be caught up quickly. If you can locate the bum in a real job you can get everything right from the employer. I think the bum gets about 200 a week to live on and the rest goes to the back child support.


When I was talking about the Franchise Tax Board I wasn't referring to them keeping tax refunds (though they do that, as well). I was talking about the local district attorneys using the debt collection authority of the Franchise Tax Board, which rivals the debt collection authority that the IRS has. In other words, they can seize your wages, your assets, and your property, and there is virtually nothing you can do to stop them. It goes far beyond a wage assignment order from a family court judge.
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#12 pushbrk

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    Straight Talk Member



Posted 29 October 2010 - 10:09 AM

I totally agree about the negative judgments...if you have read my whole story it clearly states that the reason why I was in arears is caused of layoffs and other issues like not have work for a short period of time through out the 7 year period, also...I work construction so that's where the no work come from. Having negativity in the situation does not resolve nothing. Oh, I'm not a BUM, nor a dead beat dad. I've been around my kids the whole time since they were born. The only thing I was trying to figure out was if I can get my passport, even though I owe on arears, cause me and Milena from Colombia have been talking for about 5 months every single day since the first day we talked, and I got a stack of phone cards. We totally fell in love with each other and can't wait to meet. But the darn government is making it very frustrating. Thanks for all of you for replying and especially the ones with the positive feed back. Sooo...here goes my question again. Is it possible to get my passport even though I'm paying on my arears?


You could ask the applicable state office but I expect they'll say no until your arrears are reduced to whatever their standard is for passport acquisition.
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#13 Wayne and Claudia

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 10:57 PM

Please stop the judgmental comments. Without knowing the circumstances that lead to a parent being in arrears for child support, it is unfair to paint them all with the same negative brush. Such comments add nothing constructive to the discussion.


:thumbs: totally agree.
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May all life's passing seasons
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#14 Wayne and Claudia

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 11:07 PM

I totally agree about the negative judgments...if you have read my whole story it clearly states that the reason why I was in arears is caused of layoffs and other issues like not have work for a short period of time through out the 7 year period, also...I work construction so that's where the no work come from. Having negativity in the situation does not resolve nothing. Oh, I'm not a BUM, nor a dead beat dad. I've been around my kids the whole time since they were born. The only thing I was trying to figure out was if I can get my passport, even though I owe on arears, cause me and Milena from Colombia have been talking for about 5 months every single day since the first day we talked, and I got a stack of phone cards. We totally fell in love with each other and can't wait to meet. But the darn government is making it very frustrating. Thanks for all of you for replying and especially the ones with the positive feed back. Sooo...here goes my question again. Is it possible to get my passport even though I'm paying on my arears?


On the DOS web site it says specifically, with no exceptions noted, that:

If you owe $2,500 or more in child support, you are not eligible to receive a U.S. passport.

You should make arrangements to pay the state where child support is owed BEFORE you submit your application for a U.S. passport. All questions about your child support arrears or the status of a payment should be directed to the appropriate state child support enforcement agency.

Once payment is arranged, it may take 2-3 weeks before Passport Services is permitted to process your application. See details of this process in the chart below:



Hope that helps. The web link is: http://travel.state....family_863.html
  • 0

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

Service Center : Vermont Service Center
Consulate : Bogota, Colombia
Marriage: 2009-08-01
I-130 Sent : 2009-09-29
I-130 NOA1 : 2009-10-06
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NVC Received : 2010-03-23
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#15 Colombian Gringo

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 11:23 PM

Agree with Kathryn, also with you Trent...I hear ya!!

Was working overseas as a subcontract on behalf of the U.S. Gov't. so have had a passport for awhile. Was also a military Reservist...Ex re-filed to up her support payments in VT. All documents submitted to substantiate my debts, current family and another support payment to AZ. VT tossed out everything and told me basically tough ######, should not have had a child after-wards and they do not count this. In addition, was stuffed with nearly $1500 monthly in support not to mention AZ. EOM May, received a RIF..relocated to Colombia for four months with relatives since I have no place ties anywhere, and no income. Had told VT & AZ about this but they only noted in their systems but the arrears built up. On top of all this, I found out my employer neglected to pay VT for 4 months when they subcontracted with another pay company. Received a termination letter from my employer for which they also sent to Maryland for unemployment only to be turned down for benefits because I was out of country. They desired I was in the states living under a bridge scraping together funds in order to call this state for interviews, hearings etc. Unreal!!

Have been paying for decades via automatic garnishments and never was treated with any dignity with either OCS offices, but do know the current laws as stated herein as with any other foolish local laws within the particular OCS regulations. Late this year, had picked up a decent job...AZ automatically jumped on the bandwagon, VT is lagging but am trying to get my wife of 6yrs here to assist me, but financially I have $150 every 2 weeks remaining after paying out everything and supporting family. Filing immigration documents for my wife, this has taken many months and I still do not have the necessary funds all together to get her here. Has been 5 1/2 years all together and we are still apart. Getting very frustrated with everything U.S. very quickly.

Am forced to have a U.S. bank account due to my pay, but other than that I have gotten rid of all my assets...Desire to get my better half here first before taking on OCS VT again. With all of this, I know I will not longer be able to gain a security clearance when this comes up again for renewal (Arrears effects credit report etc.), and therefore cannot perform my job, in turn dismissal thanks to the states and the mental laws!

Have not been able to see my kids in VT due to all this support for one...not to mention my son's 18th B-Day and graduation. My daughter's graduation is this summer but I know the same situation. AZ, have not seen my daughter since the court took my rights away from me after her mother took her on a visitation back in 1998. OCS AZ told me to hire a lawyer which they know damn well I cannot afford this so will also not divulge information so here it is 2011, I still have no contact since her mother is in hiding with her.

I say screw everything here. Will gain citizenship in another country in December, and will renounce in a few years. Am fed up with this country of ours even after serving after 33 years in the military and getting ###### on every year for as long as I can remember.

Anyone going through the maze of ####### due to a particular state or states getting their noses involved all together, I feel for you and sincerely with you the very best.
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