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Child support is a crucial financial tool for custodial parents and, of course, their children. In fact, full or partial child support payments account for 16 percent of custodial mothers’ total yearly income, and nine percent for custodial fathers. Sadly, a large percentage of non-custodial parents refuse to comply with their court orders, and either fail to pay on time or simply refuse to pay outright. Less than half (45.6 percent) of custodial parents receive full child support payments. Custodial parents were owed $10.4 billion in deficient payment in 2013 alone.
Many parents are owed tens of thousands of dollars from years of missed payments, which only makes things harder on the non-custodial parent’s own child or children. Collecting overdue child support payments is difficult enough when the parent lives in the same state as the custodial parent. It is even more complicated when the non-custodial parent moves out of state. It can seem impossible to enforce payments when the parent leaves the country. However, an attorney may be able to help you.
The Office of Child Support Enforcement works with foreign countries to enforce child support payments from non-paying parents who have skipped out on their financial obligations. Countries that have joined the Hague Child Support Convention (of which there are 31 countries) or Foreign reciprocating countries (FRCs) cooperate with the U.S. Department of State to hold non-paying parents accountable.
When a non-custodial parent moves abroad, they may think that they have escaped their duty to pay child support and that they are out of reach of U.S. or state authorities. They are wrong, of course, and the Hague Child Support Convention likely has jurisdiction to take legal action. However, the idea of abandoning their custody obligation by leaving the country is appealing to many. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of State has the authority to deny passports when parents owe more than $2500 in overdue child support payments.
Military personnel stationed abroad who fail to pay child support are held accountable by the Department of Revenue, which has the ability to withhold paychecks and/or place liens on property owned by the non-custodial parent.
If you have been denied child support from a parent who is abroad, there is hope yet. By contacting an experienced Hinsdale child support attorney at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, we can help hold the delinquent parent accountable. Contact us today at 630-920-8855 to schedule a free consultation.