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Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support


Published: October 12, 2010
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Case Management, Enforcement, International
Policy, Dear Colleague Letters (DCL)
Foreign Reciprocating Countries (FRC), UIFSA



DATE: October 12, 2010


RE: Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance

Dear Colleague:

On September 29, 2010, the United States Senate approved the Resolution of Advice and Consent regarding the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. This is an exciting step forward in the process of bringing the Treaty into force. The Treaty will establish a new and more effective international system for ensuring the receipt of child support in cases where a child and one parent live in one country and the other parent lives in another country.

Now that the full Senate has taken action, the following additional steps must occur before the Treaty can enter into force for the United States.

  • The Congress must adopt, and there must be enacted, implementing legislation for the Treaty. The Department of Health and Human Services already has submitted draft implementing legislation and will provide support in moving that legislation forward.
  • Pursuant to the implementing legislation, all states must enact UIFSA 2008 by the effective date noted in the legislation. The draft legislation currently gives states two years to pass new state laws. In addition, the draft legislation requires states to make minor revisions to the state plan.
  • The President must sign the instrument of ratification for the Treaty.
  • Finally, after all these activities are completed, the United States will be able to deposit its instrument of ratification with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is the depositary for the Treaty.
  • If at least one other country has deposited its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, the Treaty will enter into force for the United States on the first day of the first month that is not less than three months after the date of the U.S. deposit. If the United States is the first country to deposit its instrument, the Treaty will enter into force on the first day of the first month that is not less than three months after a second country deposits its instrument.

Once the Treaty is in force, it will apply to cases being worked between countries that are party to the Treaty.

Because of the Senate’s recent action on the Treaty, we have received several inquires from states in regard to state adoption of UIFSA 2008. In response, we clarify that there has been no change to federal law at this point and the requirement for states to adopt UIFSA 1996 is still in place. DCL-08-41 provides information for states that are interested in enacting UIFSA 2008 in advance of a federal legislative requirement.

OCSE expresses our sincere thanks to the entire child support community for the collaborative and monumental effort taken to reach this important milestone. We look forward to working together to complete the remaining steps necessary to implement the Treaty in the United States.

If you have any questions regarding the Treaty, please contact your Regional Program Manager. Thank you for your continued efforts on behalf of our nation’s children.

Vicki Turetsky
Office of Child Support Enforcement

cc: ACF/OCSE Regional Program Managers