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Agreement allows child support orders to be enforced abroad

International custody battles are often dramatic and drawn out. Political issues can get in the way along with conflicts of jurisdiction, forcing both parents and diplomats into uncomfortable situations.

Similar to custody rulings, child support agreements can be hard to enforce across international boundaries. Thanks to a recent move by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, family law is changing and that may no longer be an issue for those support cases involving a certain country.

An announcement made earlier this month has indicated that the state of New Jersey and the Dominican Republic will be working together to ensure that child support orders are enforced in both countries. This will have a direct and immediate effect on 536 different cases, each of them including a parent that lives in the foreign nation.

According to the commissioner of the Department of Human Services, child support is an essential component of combating poverty. She said that payments received by custodial parents in a timely and regular manner assist with them becoming more self-sufficient. This allows them to stop relying on social service benefits issued by the state and federal governments. The commissioner also indicated that this new agreement represents important progress for the state's support system.

The announcement was made at the Justice Complex in Trenton, New Jersey. In attendance was the New Jersey Attorney General. Commenting on the topic at hand, the Attorney General said that pursuing parents living abroad that are behind on their child support is tough without agreements such as this. Political, judicial and social issues often get in the way of such attempts.

According to the Department of Human Services, the state of New Jersey has agreements to enforce child support orders with 21 countries. These agreements have helped facilitate many international cases.

Including domestic payments, the state's child support program distributed more than $1.2 billion in child support payments last year.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "NJ officials: Child support orders in Dominican Republic will be enforced," Susan K. Livio, April 18, 2012

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