Chicago, IL asked in Child Support and Criminal Law for Arkansas

Q: My passport is suspended due to past child support. Can I still go on a cruise with birth certificate and ID ?

I found out a month ago that my ex has reopened the child support. It retroactively went to 2014. I am $16,000 behind. Passport is suspended. I have a cruise booked for Dec 4-7. I have called several places about it. And no one seems to know the answer but tells me they think I should be good. I'm concerned that I will get arrested coming back off the ship. Is that what can happen? The cruiseline said passport isn't needed so I can cruise with my BC and ID. Shouldn't be any issues. I don't know what to do . Can you please help?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James E Hensley Jr
James E Hensley Jr
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Conway, AR
  • Licensed in Arkansas

A: Copy this link to your browser. Lots of good information.

I do not believe you will be able to leave or return with the passport suspended. If the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) locates a person who owes more than $2,500 in back support they suspend the passport and will certainly contact the Court to see if they want OCSE to arrest and detain that person.

Your best bet is to call the Court Clerk or OCSE from the county in which the support was ordered. It is possible that you could pay a few hundred dollars and have your passport and driver's license reinstated.

By the way, no court will give you much of a break if they discover you are taking vacations while having so much child support due. They will most-likely put you in jail until a very large part of the money is paid; even if the children are going with you. If you do not require a passport then all should be well as to the Feds being on you. Civil authorities will arrest if they find you. Still, the issuing Court will usually not extradite.

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