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Treaty would make international child support collection easier

Whether your child’s other parent lives here in Marietta or somewhere across the country, collecting court-ordered child support can be a challenge. However, the police agencies and courts in most jurisdictions are ready and willing to help uphold child support orders from other parts of the country. But what happens if your child’s other parent lives in a different country? Depending on the country, there may be no way to enforce the child support order and get the payments that you and your child need to make ends meet.

But with the progress of federal child support legislation, that process may soon become easier. If the bill becomes law, the U.S. will be put on a course to ratify a 2007 international child support treaty under which participants would cooperate with the support orders from other countries.

The U.S. has signed the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, as have the European Union and several other countries. But only Norway has ratified the treaty thus far.

Ratification is sorely needed, as was made clear in a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this year. In one example, the director of child support for the Michigan Department of Human Services reported that her department currently has between 4,000 and 5,000 cases in which a parent lives in another country.

Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation. It now goes to the Senate for consideration. We will continue to update our Atlanta family law blog with any new developments.

Source: Daily Reporter, “House acts on international child support treaty,” Jim Abrams, June 5, 2012