Owe back child support? You will not be able to leave Mexico!

Owe back child support? You will not be able to leave Mexico!

Today in the Official Federal Register (DOF) Mexico published amendments to article 48 of the Federal Immigration Law adding an additional section VI.


Article 48 states that “The exit of Mexicans and foreigners from the national territory may be freely done except in the following cases:”

The newly added section VI states:

“People that owe child support and who have not complied with their obligations imposed under civil legislation in the area of support for a period greater than sixty days, with prior request from the competent judicial authority, without prejudice to any exceptions under applicable civil law, as well as any conduct considered criminal under corresponding criminal laws. For the effects of this section and for foreigners, the Institute (Immigration) will define the immigration situation and make a determination based upon that which is established in those laws and the regulations of this one.”

With the United States not renewing and confiscating passports of those who are in arrears in child support there are people who cannot leave the US. Now Mexico will be retaining foreigners as well as nationals who are in arrears. They are getting you coming and going, literally!

There may be valid constitutional challenges to this new amendment to the law as under international treaties and the Mexican Constitution there is the right to travel and there have already been cases thrown out where someone’s right to travel was restricted under an order keeping them in the country under “arraigo” which has to deal with criminal proceedings.

The best practice is obviously to comply and if you have a change in your circumstances and pay support you need to file a motion to reduce support accordingly. Also remember that the money is for the child.