Laws on Leaving the Country With a Child Support Order

By Jack Ori

airplane image by Clarence Alford from

When parents divorce, often the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support to the custodial parent. Child support issues become more complicated if one parent moves out of the country, especially if the custodial parent and child are the ones to move.

Travel Restrictions for Delinquent Parents

As of 2010, any parent who is delinquent on his child support payments may not receive a new passport to leave the United States. To be able to travel again, he must pay all back child support owed. As of 2010, three states--Florida, New York and California--report delinquent payers to their state departments, which then revoke the delinquent payers' passports. There is currently no law stopping parents from other countries from entering the United States when they owe child support.

Relocation Notice Law

A custodial parent must give written notice to a non-custodial parent that she intends to take the child out of the country. The non-custodial parent may go to court to have child support adjusted due to the move. For example, the non-custodial parent could request that the custodial parent pay expenses related to sending the child overseas for visits.

In some states, such as Illinois, the custodial parent must also inform the non-custodial parent if he plans to temporarily take the child out of the country, i.e. on vacation. In most cases, both parents must sign the child's passport application before she may receive a passport.

Paying Child Support in Foreign Countries

Persons ordered to pay child support must still pay it if the custodial parent and child move to a foreign country. It is the obligated parent's responsibility to make arrangements to pay child support to a foreign bank in a timely manner.

Read More: Rights for Fathers Paying Child Support