Ireland Declared a Foreign Reciprocating Country
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
TO: ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS
I am pleased to announce that Ireland was declared to be a foreign reciprocating country with all U.S. jurisdictions for child support enforcement effective September 10, 1997.
The Irish legislation, the "Maintenance Act, 1994" (Act), provides for the reciprocal enforcement of support obligations with jurisdictions designated as having appropriate procedures for recognition and enforcement of support. The Act sets up a system similar to that established by URESA and UIFSA in the United States. The Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs has the authority to designate which jurisdictions are to be considered reciprocating.
The Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs previously had issued a declaration that all U.S. states are to be considered by Ireland to be reciprocating jurisdictions for the enforcement of child support obligations effective May 1, 1996.
The Irish Central Authority, authorized by the Act, is also the Central Authority under the Hague Convention on international parental child abduction:
Ms. Elizabeth Sheehan
Central Authority for Maintenance Recovery
Department of Equality and Law Reform
43-49 Mespil Road
Dublin 4, Ireland
International child support cases should be sent to this address. The Department of Equality and Law Reform employs lawyers in Ireland's twenty-six county law centers who will provide, without a means test, cost free services for foreign child support applicants through the appropriate county law center. Orders will be enforced where there is an order; if there is not an enforceable order, an order will be obtained.
It is exciting that the intercountry collaboration over the past two years, which resulted in the mutual declarations of reciprocity by Ireland and the United States, has already produced tangible results, the distribution of actual collections in each country based upon a request from the other country. OCSE looks forward to further such success in the future and stands ready to undertake its statutory duty "to facilitate support enforcement" in cases involving residents of the U.S. and foreign reciprocating countries, of which Ireland is the first.
The international child support contact in your state, designated pursuant to DC96-37 (7/24/96), has been receiving information regarding recent international child support enforcement developments and has received invitations for your agency to participate in the series of International Child Support State Contact Group (SCG) conference calls being held as part of OCSE's efforts to work with our IV-D partners to strengthen the international child support enforcement system. OCSE encourages your state's continued participation in the SCG as the United States considers extending reciprocity declarations to other foreign countries.
OCSE's international child support central authority, established under P.L. 104-193, continues explore ways for SCG members and other IV-D staff to access the most current technical assistance on foreign reciprocating countries, both in hard copy and through electronic means (internet access, CD-ROM, or floppy disk). OCSE will continue to work with the SCG and others to make current international child support information routinely available.
For further information about the Irish reciprocity declaration or other international child support enforcement matters, please contact OCSE's Division of Policy, Office of Child Support Enforcement, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW, Aerospace Building, Washington DC 20447, phone: 202-401-9386, fax: 202-260-5980.
David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement
ACF Regional Administrators
ACF Assistant Regional Administrators
CSE Regional Program Managers