I previously blogged about Jermaine Jackson's attempts to reduce his Los Angeles County child support obligation here. Now, various media reports are stating that Jermaine is now stuck in Africa with an expired passport, which cannot be renewed until he pays off his existing child support debt to bring his account current.
This scenario is definitely common and something we have seen in the past. Holding the payor's passport until he or she brings their account current is a way the Department of Child Support Services gets deadbeats to pay their child support debts. It may be a double standard if the payor needs to travel internationally for work in order to earn money to be able to pay off the actual child support debt. But, what can you do? The Department of Child Support Services is a large entity and a payor will not get very far unless they cooperate with the Department's procedures. In our experience, the Department of Child Support Services will not release or renew an obligor's passport until the account balance is paid in full. Let this be an incentive for deadbeats to start paying their child support payments.
Additionally, the Department of Child Support Services can also take other self help measures to get deadbeats to pay such as taking away their driver's license. Especially, in California, where driving is a necessity in order to get from place to place. It is important for obligors to pay their child support debt to avoid the confiscation of their driver's license and passports.
Contact an Orange County child support lawyer for more information.