Monday, November 26, 2007

Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support

On Friday, delegates from sixty-eight States and the European Community finalized the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and other Forms of Family Maintenance at the 21st Diplomatic Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. The United States immediately signed the Convention, the first (and, thus far, only) State to do so. Upon signing, the U.S. delegate stated:
The United States is delighted to sign the new Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support, which we believe represents a major step forward in the development of a global system for enforcement of child support obligations in transnational cases. Every child deserves the support of both the child’s parents. And yet recovering child support when the child and one parent are in one country and the other parent is in another is difficult and often impossible. The legal and practical obstacles often mean that little or no support ever reaches the parent and child. Given the importance of this topic to U.S. families, and because the number of transnational cases will continue to increase, the United States has been an active participant in this negotiation. This new convention is necessary to modernize and improve the existing international system, which is outdated and does not meet the needs of an increasingly global world.
The Convention, which will enter into force three months after the second ratification, complements three other Hague Conventions: the Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction (1980); the Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (1993); and the Convention on the Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (1996).