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Couples may see help for international child support woes

Some divorced Pennsylvania parents are likely familiar with the difficulties that can arise when trying to maintain child support agreements when a former spouse is living within the same city or state. However, these child support agreements can become even more difficult to uphold when one former spouse is living in an entirely different country. These parents may soon see assistance, though, with new legislation that has recently passed through the House.

The legislation would make it easier for states to collect child support payments from parents living in countries outside the United States. It would ratify an already existing agreement, the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, between the U.S. and various other countries that ensures the nations under it would cooperate to get families the support payments they legally deserve. However, the agreement is reportedly not as effective as it could be.

The ratification will provide the language needed to implement the existing agreement. Additionally, the ratification would establish a standardized process for sharing information between countries relating to these support agreements and payments. Hopefully, the ratification will work to speed up the process of setting up these support agreements which can currently last up to five years.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Senate will pass this legislation as well in order to ratify the 2007 agreement. Parents who may currently be seeing issues establishing child support obligations between countries due to lack of cooperation may benefit from knowing what legislation may currently apply to them, as well as what may apply to them in the future. Regardless, cooperation between former Pennsylvania spouses on these matters may work to help the situation as well and uphold the best interest of the children involved.

Source: Yahoo! Finance, "House acts on international child support treaty," Jim Abrams, June 6, 2012

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