New Rules Affect Parents Who Owe Child Support
New regulations now require passports for U.S. citizens traveling by air to any country including Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. These new rules may affect some parents who owe child support.
"Nebraska parents with more than $2,500 in past due support will run into some trouble when they apply for a passport," said Daryl Wusk, Administrator of Nebraska Health and Human Services System's Office of Economic and Family Support. "Passport denial is one of the techniques child support enforcement uses when a parent doesn't provide financial support to his or her child."
In 2006, state officials collected over $60,000 after passports were denied.
Recently, the passport denial threshold changed from $5,000 to $2,500. If a parent owes more than $2,500 in past due support, the U.S. Secretary of State will refuse to issue or renew a passport. Since the change, about 500 Nebraskans owing more than two million dollars in child support won't be able to get a passport.
Officials say the new passport regulations along with the lower threshold will substantially increase Nebraska's child support collections.
The federal government began the Passport Denial Program in 1998.
Custodial and non-custodial parents can apply for child support services. The customer service phone number is 1-877-631-9973. For more information about child support, go to www.hhss.ne.gov/cse/cseindex.htm.