House to pass legislation easing overseas child support issues

On behalf of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC posted in Child Support on Wednesday, June 6, 2012.

Virginia residents may have heard The Hill reports the U.S. House will pass legislation this week that seeks to establish cooperation among several European countries to make it easier for families and children in the U.S. to collect support payments from parents residing overseas. The legislation would also assist those same European countries with tracking down parents in the U.S. who had child support orders issued against them overseas.

The legislation, titled the International Child Support Recovery Act, will implement a 2007 treaty approved by the U.S. Senate in 2010, which is titled the Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. According to one of the bill's sponsors, implementing the treaty will remove obstacles children and families in the U.S. face when trying to enforce child support orders from parents who reside overseas.

Implementing the Hague Convention will empower the Child Support Enforcement programs in various states with more tools to help families and children gain access to needed financial support when parents live in a European country. Several other sponsors of the bill say it will remove barriers enacted when parents cross borders and will save tax payers money by providing stronger legal recourse in which states can pursue parents who have been obligated to pay child support.

Several states already recognize child support orders issued from other countries, however many of these countries do not cooperate with U.S. states in child support requests for parents living overseas. The legislation directs the Department of Health and Human Services to use its authority in enforcing compliance with the treaty as well as share information with the governments of participating countries.

The legislation also seeks to set standards surrounding the information to be shared between countries. All overseas requests for compliance with support orders will go through a foreign government directly to the states. All countries in the European Union plus Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Norway and the Ukraine are participating in the treaty with the U.S.

Source: The Hill, "House to pass bill ensuring cooperation with overseas child-support orders," Pete Kasperowicz, June 4, 2012

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