President Obama’s Recent Hague Convention Ratification Expected to Make International Child Support Collection Less Costly and More Efficient

Recent legislation by the Obama Administration makes international child support collection an easier process. 

On August 30, 2016, President Obama took a bold step toward making child support collection less costly, faster and more efficient. By ratifying the 2007 Hague Child Support and Maintenance Convention that addressed international recovery of child support, President Obama took action on a critically important family law issue.

The family law issue, namely, is that there is an estimated 1 million cases of unpaid international child support globally. The United States is often a leader on initiatives of this scope and scale, which is why some hailed these efforts as a major breakthrough that stands to improve the lives of “millions of children, single parents and other vulnerable persons around the world.”

For their part, the White House issued a statement celebrating the fact that the Convention contained groundbreaking provisions that simplify international child support on a global scale. The White House particularly noted that the Convention’s establishment of “uniform, simple, fast and inexpensive procedures” for processing international child support cases benefits children and those who care for them.

Similar procedures already existed in the United States, but establishing these practices as the international standard is poised to advance the interests of the world’s children and their families considerably. After Obama’s actions, there are a few things one should expect in the aftermath of the Hague Convention.

Implications and Consequences of the Hague Convention

First, more children who live in the United States will receive the financial support they need. If a child’s parents reside in either the United States or another Hague Convention signatory country, their chance to receive child support in a timely and efficient manner is dramatically improved. For the time being, the signatories are:

  • European Union (EU) Member States

  • Albania

  • Montenegro

  • Norway

  • Turkey

  • Ukraine

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • United States

At present, this means 34 countries are on board, and more are likely on the way now that President Obama has taken decisive action on this issue. Additionally, expect other signatory nations to encourage others to join in the initiative. Countries whose populations receive significant amounts of child support and family maintenance will likely want to join in thanks to the easier path to receiving child support.

While nations stand to benefit greatly from this ratification, it must be reiterated that families and their children stand to gain the most. Families around the world who are desperately in need of financial support to care for children should welcome this news. When parents and their children desperately need funds for support, maintenance and basic human needs, the party who can support them should never be out of reach of enforcement because of geographical boundaries.

Thanks to this international law that simplified cross-border cooperation on child support collection, families across the globe are closer to having the laws that provide them with the protection and support they need. Now, all President Obama and the other signatory nations need are for more countries to sign up and provide their people with the benefits of this international law.

If you have any questions related to child support or require legal assistance in other areas of Family Law, you may always contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at contact@themckinneylawgroup.com. 

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