International child support enforcement gets a projected boost

When an Arizona mother and father of a young child decide to separate, whether they are married or not, child custody and child support issues come to the forefront. The news media is full of stories reporting efforts to enforce child support orders throughout our state. Regularly, arrests and contempt proceedings in our courts occur in an attempt to get recalcitrant non-custodial parents to pay past-due obligations. But when a non-custodial parent moves out of the country, collection attempts typically become a horse of a different color.

It is one thing to try and collect child support when the parent owing the obligation lives across town or somewhere else in Arizona. It is also possible to seek enforcement of these court orders within the confines of the U.S. without too much difficulty. But when the parent who owes the money has moved to another country, the problems are normally exponentially worse. Nevertheless, the federal government has been laying plans to deal with the problem over the last several years.

mutual enforcement of child support orders. However, observers complain the U.S. is far quicker to act on the request of other countries than other countries are to act on our own requests. Indeed, at least one state has complained they have upwards of 5,000 international cases pending, with some custodial parents waiting up to five years or more for international enforcement of U.S. child support orders. And that, whether in Arizona or another state, is putting the economic stability of our children at risk.

Source: KWQC-TV6, “House acts on international child support treaty,” Jim Abrams, June 5, 2012

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