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Chairman Kerry: U.S. Senate Approves Hague Convention On The International Recovery Of Child Support And Other Forms Of Family Maintenance

Washington, DC – Last night, the Senate approved a treaty that will make it easier for Americans to recover child support payments from a non-custodial parent living abroad.  The Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance is a multilateral treaty that promotes the establishment, recognition, and enforcement of child support obligations in cases where the custodial parent and child are in one country and the non-custodial parent is in another.  The Convention was adopted at the Hague Conference on Private International Law on November 23, 2007, and signed by the United States on the same date. 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) released the following statement: 

“The Senate took an important step last night to help American families and children by approving the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance.  While U.S. courts will often enforce foreign child support judgments without a treaty obligation, foreign courts are less likely to do so.  This treaty will level the playing field, providing the mechanism to make sure children in this country receive the financial support they deserve from a non-custodial parent living abroad. 

“Many families in Massachusetts and throughout the country are struggling economically, and children are often affected disproportionately in such times.  In Massachusetts alone there were approximately 265,000 child support cases in fiscal year 2009, and a growing number of cases nationwide involve a parent living abroad.  Moving forward on this treaty is a concrete, commonsense way to help many of these families.

“I applaud the Senate for approving the treaty, and I encourage the State Department to urge other countries to ratify it as soon as possible.”