It is terrible to be owed back child support by a recalcitrant parent. Parents do fall behind sometimes. It can happen for a number of reasons. There are also times when a parent just doesn’t want to pay. Whatever the reasons, when delinquent child support payments are owed, everyone suffers. There are things the custodial (the parent owed the support) parent can do though. Among these tools are passport holds.
Tools: Passport Holds Work
At first blush, passport holds may seem to be an innocuous, fairly undramatic tool. In some ways they are. But they work.
Most of the time, other tools are used first or in conjunction with a passport hold. This is true whether the custodial parent goes through Oklahoma’s DHS (Department of Human Services) or through an experienced Okmulgee child support attorney.
These other tools include wage garnishment, levying against the non-paying parent’s bank accounts or other property, and intercepting tax returns or other income sources. But the law allows a custodial parent some other, surprising tools. Among those are the denial, revocation, or hold of certain professional and driver’s licenses and passports.
How This May Play Out
Here is a scenario for your consideration. Your ex but has skipped out on child support payments claiming that he just doesn’t make enough money to pay them. He owes a mountain in child support. You have been struggling to get enough food on the table.
You find out that he is planning a trip to Mexico with some buddies. Is there something you can do? The answer is yes. But there are some things you need to know about passport holds and how they work.
Limitations On Passport Holds
Passport holds must be obtained by working through DHS. When you are seeking to enforce child support, you can either work entirely through DHS or work with an experienced Okmulgee family law attorney. In some cases, you can do both.
There are advantages to working with your own attorney. DHS can be backlogged, so it may take longer to enforce a child support order. Paying a private attorney may seem daunting, but a custodial parent may collect sooner.
Passport holds must be done through DHS. However, you might consider having your attorney work directly with DHS. Your attorney will know the procedure and can streamline the process.
There is a threshold amount in arrearages that must be met to use passport holds. The amount owed must be at least $2,500. That is the threshold mandated by federal law.
DHS works with the federal Secretary of State’s office. The passport will be put on hold, revoked, or not renewed depending on the state of the passport within the federal system.
That trip to Mexico might not happen. Now, your ex might have enough incentive to pay some of the child support owed.
Enforcing child support can be difficult. If you have questions about your particular case, call an experienced Okmulgee child support attorney today to see how they can help.
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