Under Rule 527-275 of the Utah Administrative Code, the Office of Recovery Services (“ORS”) is authorized to deny a delinquent child support obligor’s application for a U.S. passport or an application to renew a U.S. passport. Exercise of this power is intended to encourage child support obligors to pay their past-due child support, but in some cases, denying a passport could render a child support obligor unable to pay. For example, if your job requires you to travel outside of the United States, denying you a passport have the effect of denying you an income.
Your ability to work directly affects your ability to pay the child support you are ordered to pay. Fortunately, the rules provide that your passport application may be granted under certain circumstances.
If the case is IV-A—meaning that a custodial parent and child(ren) is receiving public assistance benefits under the State’s IV-A program, which is funded under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act—then if the ORS or CSS Director approves an exception to the payment-in-full requirement, ORS will release you from the denial of your passport application.
If the case is non-IV-A and:
- if the ORS or CSS Director approves an exception to the payment-in-full requirement; and,
- if the child support is owed to the obligee, ORS/CSS is able to obtain written approval from the obligee to release the passport,
ORS will also release you from the denial of your passport application.
If you do not satisfy either of the two exceptions mentioned above, your best (really your only) option is to pay your child support arrearages in full, at which point ORS cannot deny your passport application.
The applicable rules can be found in more detail at:
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277