Legal Translation and International Child Support Enforcement

We’ve blogged about professional translation services and having a foreign divorce recognized in a U.S. court.

When one parent is living in a foreign country, finding a way to enforce a US child support order overseas can be a challenging prospect. Under Section 459A of the Social Security Act (42 USC 659A (1996)) the Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services have the authority to enter into agreements with foreign countries for child support enforcement. In general, under the law a parent can be required to pay child support by income withholding, and overdue child support can be collected from federal and state tax refunds. Liens can be placed on property and the property itself may even be sold with the proceeds used to pay child support arrearages.

More so, if a person arrears in excess of $5,000, their US passport may be denied.

When dealing with a case of international child support enforcement, the first step is to see if there is a reciprocal agreement between the foreign country and the United States. If there is, the terms of that agreement will be listed in both the foreign language and be accompanied with a foreign language translation. If no such agreement exists, then one needs to turn to the laws of the foreign jurisdiction to see what their child support enforcement measures are. To accomplish this, a foreign language translation is necessary.

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