Stricter child support benchmark prevents passport approval in 2007Written by Autumn Lee | | email@example.com
After a recent statewide sweep to arrest felony-related child support offenders, the Lucas County Child Support Enforcement Agency is forewarning the area about
a tougher restriction on passport applications that could interfere with holiday travel plans.
As it stands, parents owing $5,000 or more in outstanding child support will have their passport denied. However, a new federal rule will reduce the benchmark to $2,500 effective Jan. 1.
Those owing child support of at least $2,500 must pay the total arrearage amount or a substantial portion and arrange to pay the remainder to receive approval of a passport application, Director of Lucas County Child Support Enforcement Agency Maricarol Torsok said.
The new restriction becomes more critical when compounded with tighter passport requirements for visits to Mexico and Canada, she said.
Torsok said the $2,500 mark would have a “detrimental effect” on many people and the LCCSEA has already received several calls about people expressing concerns about work-related travel.
Torsok said she hopes the change will “bring people in” to make plans to pay off their owed arrearage.
“Ideally, we would like to get it under the $2,500 threshold,” she said.
Torsok said she hopes by giving the public some forewarning on this change, it will not hold up any holiday travel plans.
President of the Board of Lucas County Commissioners Tina Skeldon Wozniak said in a news release, “These new federal rules raise the stakes for parents owing excessive child support in Lucas County and strong enforcement will benefit our children and our community.”
The LCCSEA has more than 57,000 cases. Each year it collects about $96 million in owed child support.
However, the agency collects only 63 percent of owed support each month.
Torsok said 15 percent of their child support cases are either individuals who are incarcerated (whose support cannot be changed while in prison) or others who are involved in SSI, a means-tested public assistance program; the LCCSEA is not allowed to attach their money as it is prohibited by law.
The LCCSEA encourages parents with a child support delinquency who intend to travel outside of the United States to contact them at (419) 213-3001 well in advance of travel plans to pay their arrearage under the $2,500 amount.
Top 10 offenders
Assistant Prosecutor Pat Hayes provided a list of the top 10 Lucas County felony cases arrested in a recent sweep and the amount of back child support each of the offenders owe as of Dec. 15:
Franklin Hayes, $99,618.06
Timothy Green, $58,124.12
Peter Martinez, $49,834.47
Jimmy Patton, $45,164.64
Lawrence Ferrer, $36,066.51
Brian Cook, $34,621.31
Kevin Mayes, $26,275.36
Richard Alexander, $24,733.31
Floyd Hague, $24,446.94
Michael Hubbard, $21,118.82