Family Law Quarterly
Volume 43, No. 1 (Spring 2009)

Symposium on International Enforcement of Child Support

Table of Contents

Please note that pursuant to the ABA's copyright and reprint policies, these articles may not be disseminated without written permission.

Editor's Note      

Linda D. Elrod (Cricket)

In Dedication

This issue is dedicated to Gloria DeHart in acknowledgment of her lifelong commitment to finding a way for the United States to be part of international maintenance treaties.

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The New Hague Child Support Convention: Goals and Outcomes of the Negotiations

William Duncan
The article traces the preparation, negotiation and then implementation of the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, which concluded on 23 November 2007, culminating an eight-year process. Though the Convention will not begin to have a major impact until it has attracted a critical mass of Contracting States, there is optimism that the new Convention will reach this point relatively quickly, resulting in a ten-year process from the time of conception to the moment the Convention begins to take its first step in the real world. This article explains the aims and objectives of the negotiating process; how the Act will work, and post-convention work still to be done.

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United States Perspective on the New Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance

Mary Helen Carlson
This article explains how and why the United States was the first country to sign the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. It discusses how the U.S. delegation approached negotiations, formulated goals and "deal-breakers," and worked with other countries' delegations to produce a convention that will produce results in the real world.

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Child Support at Home and Abroad: Road to The Hague

Marilyn Ray Smith
This article provides background on how both the interstate and international enforcement of child support obligations have evolved to resolve the knotty constitutional, procedural, and structural issues facing a parent who moves to another jurisdiction, leaving a child behind. It describes the decades of work in the United States by family law practitioners, judges, law professors, government officials, legislators, and child support professionals to fashion laws, procedures, and structures that foster cooperation among interstate and international jurisdictions to ensure that children whose parents move to another state or a distant country can still receive the child support that is so vital to their financial well-being.

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Integrating an International Convention in State Law: The UIFSA Experience

Battle Rankin Robinson
On November 23, 2007, the United States signed the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance at the International Peace Palace in The Hague. This article discusses the decision to incorporate the Convention into UIFSA, the guidelines that directed the drafting effort, and the cooperation at the state and federal levels that were a hallmark of the process.

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Uniform International Family Support Act
(Last Amended or Revised in 2008)
With Prefatory Note and Comments

This article provides a brief history of Uniform Family Support Acts and presents the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (2008), which amends UIFSA (2001), and includes amendments approved by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in July 2008. The changes, which constitute a limited revision of UIFSA (2001), are presented in bold type. Substantial portions of the act have been omitted to maintain focus on the international impact of UIFSA (2008).

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2008 Schwab Essay Winners

The Schwab Essay Contest for law students is sponsored by the ABA Section of Family Law.

Second-Class Families: Interstate Recognition of Queer Adoption

Christine L. Olson
This article argues that every state must recognize queer adoptions from other states and that failure to do so violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the fundamental right to travel. The author encourages the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve the controversy and hold that no state may refuse to recognize out-of-state queer adoptions.

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Avoiding Round Two: The Inadequacy of Current Relocation Laws and a Proposed Solution

Sally Adams
This article addresses current problems with relocation laws and proposes a solution significantly different from the current approaches of most jurisdictions. It outlines the prior unsuccessful attempts at creating uniformity with the UMDA, the Model Relocation Act, and the American Law Institute's Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution: Analysis and Recommendations. It explores the labyrinth of state relocation statues that elucidates the need for a uniform statute and argues that to reduce post-custody order litigation, minimize emotional trauma to children, and maintain a child-focused approach, the drafters of a uniform law should mandate that parents come to an agreement as to future relocation at the time of the original custody determination.

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Publication Date: July 2009

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