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Congress considering international child support treaty

Many Alameda County residents know that going through a divorce is difficult enough before addressing contentious issues such as child custody and child support as well. On top of all this, once a divorce decree delineating child support payments is finally determined, collecting child support payments can be a whole different issue.

The state of California places the California Department of Child Services in charge of collecting child support payments in many cases. Court ordered child support payments mean that payments may be deducted from the paying parent's paycheck automatically.

States typically create and control their own child support laws. However, in order to make collection of payment more feasible, the states work with each other on issues of collecting support payments. Thus, in spite of the fact that the paying parent lives in a different state, California may be able collect on behalf of its own resident from that parent via automatic collection, regardless of the parent's location.

Unfortunately, however, this fluidity between the states is limited to inside the borders of the United States. When a parent moves out of the country, collection attempts can become much more complicated.

It is because of this complication that the United States federal government is currently considering legislation which would make it easier for states to collect from parents living outside of the country. An approval would see Congress moving toward ratifying an international treaty on child support. Under the treaty, all treaty participants cooperate to assist each other in collecting payments from the mobile parent.

The legislation could solve a lot of cases of hardship. According to some, it can take the custodial parent up to five years to obtain child support payments from a parent living abroad.

The National Child Support Enforcement Association strongly supports approval of the legislation. As the world becomes increasingly smaller due to technological advances to travel, cross-border parents are becoming more and more common. Receiving parents who depend on child support payments would certainly support the decision.

Source: WECT-TV6, "House Acts on International Child Support Treaty," Jim Abrams June 5, 2012

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