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Child support payments can bring families out of poverty

We are increasingly seeing matters where back child support is owed by an individual living in another country. It's often been extremely difficult for individuals to collect this child support due to the complicated process required in enforcing such orders as compared to the amounts of money the custodial parent is likely to receive.

Still, even a small amount can make a difference. Sadly, single parents are impoverished at a disproportionate rate. However, regular child-support payments are often sufficient to bring these families out of poverty.

The Hague Convention, which still requires implementation, would have differing nations work together to enforce child support orders. It is hoped that due to this convention there will be a decrease in individuals fleeing their child support obligations by going across international borders. The U.S. has also put in place the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act to allow courts to put in place child support enforcement when the parents are living in different states.

Child support collections and distributions in the United States are estimated to be $27 billion per year. Our nation has also been involved in various collection efforts such as denying passport applications for people that owe more than $2,500 in back child support. These passport denials are said to have resulted in collection of $29 million.

Not all parents that have failed to pay child support will flee to other countries or states, however. Some will remain here in New York and still not fulfill their court-ordered obligations. As family law attorneys, we will do what we can to make certain child support orders are followed. Attorneys can locate hidden funds kept by the non-custodial spouse and can then compel these parents to pay their support.

Source: The Huffington Post, "New Global Child Support Convention Holds Promise for Millions of Children Worldwide," May 2, 2014